Cabrera’s Triple Crown is the talk of baseball this morning, and rightfully so. It’s a feat that hasn’t been done in 45 years. Many thought it was impossible to do in the modern era. But Cabrera did it this year, amazing. So it begs the question, what other hitters are capable of it? It obviously takes a special kind of hitter, a guy that can hit for average and power. To make the tier 1 list, a guy has to be a career .300+ hitter, he has to have hit 40HR at least once in his career, he has to be in the prime of his career, and he has to have been consistently good for at least a few years. Tier 2 contenders are guys who aren’t quite as consistently excellent as tier 1 contenders, but have the potential to put together a triple crown type season.
1. Ryan Braun – Braun is consistently a 30+HR hitter, reaching 41 this season, and a career .313 hitter. At 28, he has a lot of prime left in front of him.
2. Josh Hamilton – Hamilton is another complete package behind the plate. He’s a career .304 hitter, he has a batting title, and he hit 43 dingers this year. He’s 31, so if he can keep his ghosts in his past, he will be contending for all three titles for a couple more years.
3. Albert Pujols – Pujols has a batting title and a couple of HR titles. He’s getting towards the end of his prime, but he’s as healthy as he’s ever been. Don’t let his down year fool you, this guy is still a complete hitter.
Tier 2 contenders
1. Joey Votto – Votto is a career .316 hitter that has proven to have some mash in his swing too, hitting as many as 37HR in his career. His career .415 OBP says that opponents pitch around him, some better protection could give him more hittable pitches.
2. Prince Fielder – Fielder isn’t a career .300 hitter, but he is maturing and still getting better. He hit .313 this year in a new league with no protection behind him. His career OBP is more than .100 above his career average, so he’s pitchers are avoiding him. He’s a masher too, he has had 50HR and 46HR seasons already in his short career.
3. Adrian Beltre – It has been a long time since he has hit 48HR, but he put up 36 this year while hitting .321. At 33, time is running out for Beltre, but he’ll get a lot of pitches to hit as long as he’s on a stacked Texas roster.
1. Mike Trout – Look at his rookie numbers and tell me he won’t be a triple crown contender.
2. Bryce Harper – He was on fire towards the end of the season, he’s the real deal.
3. Giancarlo Stanton – Who? Look him up, he’s been getting better and better the last few seasons and he’s only 22.