Since the All-Star break, talk of a potential Triple Crown winner this season has focused on the Cardinals’ first baseman, and favorite to win NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt. But as we enter the final weeks of the regular round, he’s the Yankees slugger, Aaron Judgewho is best placed to become the 11th player in AL/LN history to lead his league in batting average, home runs and RBIs (since IQs became an official stat in 1920).
Judge has been making headlines primarily for his pursuit of the American League home run record, the 61 that Roger Maris hit 61 years ago. Judge he went 4-for-5 and hit two more home runs on Sunday against the Brewers to put his total at 59, putting him one step away from becoming just the sixth player to hit 60 or more homers in a season. But while his march to the Maris mark continues, Judge is also just two points in batting average away from leading the circuit in all three Triple Crown categories.
Here are the details of where Judge stands in his fight to win the first Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera in 2012, and the 13th in AL/LN history.
Sunday: 5-4, 2 HR, 4 IC
Last 10 games: 19-for-38 (.500), 4 HRs, 9 RBIs
next game: Tuesday vs. PIT, 7:05 p.m. ET
batting average: .316 – R-2nd with Xander Bogaerts (leader: Luis Arraez, .317)
home runs: 59 – 1st
RBI races: 127 – 1st
Triple Crown Winners
2012: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (LA)
1967: Carl Yastrzemski, Red Sox (AL)
1966—Frank Robinson, Orioles (AL)
1956 – Mickey Mantle, Yankees (AL)*
1947: Ted Williams, Red Sox (AL)
1942: Ted Williams, Red Sox (AL)*
1937: Joe Medwick, Cardinals (NL)
1934—Lou Gehrig, Yankees (AL)*
1933: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics (AL)
1933: Chuck Klein, Phillies (NL)
1925: Rogers Hornsby, Cardinals (NL)*
1922: Rogers Hornsby, Cardinals (NL)
* Led all three categories in the NL and LA
Note: Six players led the National or American in all three Triple Crown categories before EC was an official stat.
The last ones who stayed close
Since Cabrera won the Triple Crown in 2012, several players have come close in recent years, including Guerrero in 2021. Here, five who fell short.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr: (2021, LA): The Dominican’s bid was very important in the conversation of the MVP against the eventual winner of the award, Shohei Ohtani. But, although he finished as the leader in home runs with 48, he finished second in average (.311, behind Cuban Yuli Gurriel) and fifth in RBIs (110; 10 behind Venezuelan Salvador Pérez).
Marcell Ozuna (2020, NL): The Dominican was the leader in home runs and RBI in the shortened season, but finished third in average with .338, behind Juan Soto (.351) and Freddie Freeman (.341).
Christian Yelich (2018, NL): Yelich’s MVP season featured a batting title, but he fell two short of the lead in home runs (36) and one short of the lead in RBIs (110).
JD Martinez (2018, LA): Martinez was the AL champion and finished second in home runs (43, five behind Khris Davis) and batting average (.330, 16 points behind Mookie Betts).
Miguel Cabrera (2013, LA): Miggy almost won two Triple Crowns in a row, capturing the batting title, but falling nine home runs and one RBI behind Orioles slugger Chris Davis.
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Can Aaron Judge win the Triple Crown? This is how it goes so far