Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastrzemski last won the award in 1967, leading the American League with a .326 batting average, 44 home runs and 121 RBIs. It hasn’t been won in the National League since 1937, when Joe Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals led the league with 31 homers and 154 RBIS while batting a remarkable .374.
Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is on pace to break that 73-year NL mark and has moved past some of the league’s top sluggers to contend for the prestigious award.
The 24-year-old outfielder quietly leads the National League by a substantial amount in the batting average category, posting a .340 average. That’s far ahead of Reds first baseman Joey Votto (.321) and Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols (.308).
Following a three-run homer smacked by Gonzalez to win Tuesday’s game against the Reds, the young star has overtaken the NL RBI rankings with an even 100. He is two ahead of Votto and three ahead of Pujols in that category. The only Triple Crown category he doesn’t lead is home runs, where he sits in a three-way tie for second place with 32. Pujols and Washington’s Adam Dunn currently lead the NL with 34.
While there is significant competition for all offensive categories in the National League, Gonzalez definitely has a great opportunity to be the next name hitting the Triple Crown record books. Especially with his comfortable lead atop the batting average category.
There is still a lot of September baseball left to play, with plenty of time for statistics to fluctuate, but for right now, Gonzalez holds one of the best chances of taking home the Crown.
Do you think Carlos Gonzalez will win the NL Triple Crown award? Text ‘SOX1’ for yes or ‘SOX2’ for no.