The 2007 season has been a big one for career milestones and a record number of oblique muscle strains. However, it has been a relatively light year for individual season accomplishments unless your name is Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez needs only four RBIs to join Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Hack Wilson and Sammy Sosa as the only players with 50 home runs and 150 RBIs in the same season. A-Rod and possibly Prince Fielder will reach 50 home runs but only five players will reach 40 home runs in 2007 compared to 11 in 2006.
The number of batters hitting for both average and power is also down in 2007. In 2006, 11 players reached the triple milestones of a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs.
In 2007, only Matt Holliday (.337-36-131) is certain to repeat although both Albert Pujols (.323-31-99) and Carlos Lee (.300-31-115) can make it with a strong finish in the final week and Vladimir Guerrero (.323-26-123) has an outside chance.
Four others are assured of achieving triple milestones in 2007, Alex Rodriguez (.312-52-146), David Ortiz (.321-32-112), Miguel Cabrera (.322-33-112) and David Wright (.321-30-105). It's the seventh time for Rodriguez, third for Ortiz, second for Cabrera and first (of probably many) for Wright.
Two others have a chance with a strong finish in the final week, Magglio Ordonez (.358-27-133) and Chipper Jones (.341-27-98). Both have done it multiple times in the past. Torii Hunter (.290-28-104), Jimmy Rollins (.293-29-90) and Brandon Phillips (.290-29-92) all made a bid for their first triple milestone season but are falling just short. The only other player with an outside chance of achieving triple milestones in 2007 is Aramis Ramirez (.312-26-100).
Jake Peavy appears to be a lock to finish first in the National League in the pitchers' triple crown categories of wins, ERA and strikeouts (18-6, 2.36, 233). However, he will fall short of pitchers' triple milestones (20 wins, <3.00 ERA, 200 strikeouts). Josh Beckett (20-6, 3.14, 188) and C.C. Sabathia (18-7, 3.19, 205) are also close but reaching these milestones is extremely difficult in this era of pitch counts and five-man rotations. The last pitcher to reach all three was Chris Carpenter in 2005.
Bill Gilbert is a baseball analyst and writer and member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
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