In about nine days, the regular season stats will be frozen and filed in the sport’s history books. We will look at the 2021 campaign with pleasure, that’s for sure, especially after everything we experienced in 2020.
With less than two weeks to go to the end of the season, we did a detailed analysis of the MLB leadership and found fascinating data that you may not have imagined. There is a lot to analyze. Let’s get started.
1) Only two players have played all the games of their team in the year
Obviously, it’s been an eternity since the days of Cal Ripken Jr., but still, even with the handling of the workloads, it’s surprising that only two players are on this list. They are Whit Merrifield of the Royals and AL MVP candidate Marcus Semien of the Blue Jays.
Not surprisingly, it’s them. Semien missed seven games last year, but played all 162 in 2019. Merrifield has not been absent from a game since 2018.
2) Three of the top five scoring players are on the Blue Jays
There are two teams, Astros and Rays, that have scored more runs than the Blue Jays. But Toronto is in the individual top, with the Dominican Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (first), Bo Bichette (third) and Semien (fifth). The other two are Freddie Freeman of the Braves and Jose Altuve of the Astros.
3) You would never guess who tops both leagues in doubles
When it comes to doubles, you immediately think of players like George Brett, Carl Yastrzemski, and even Albert Pujols (who, of course, is fifth in history). Now in the American, the one with the most two-base hits is the Tigres ‘Jeimer Candelario with 41, while in the National the leader is the Cardinals’ Tommy Edman, also with 41.
4) David Peralta is doing his thing again with the triples
Peralta is not recognized for being a sprinter – he has 32 stolen bases in 866 career games – and he is not among the leaders in power hits. But he’s unbelievably good at scoring triples. He led the National League with 10 in 2015, when he was 27 years old. Now at 34, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. He leads the majors with eight 3-base hits. It’s about the same number as the 10 the Mariners have collectively for the year. Peralta is likely the first player to lead the majors in 3-pointers with under 10 – not including 2020, obviously – since Charlie Gould did so with eight in 1872.
5) Adam Duvall, the silent leader
The top 10 home runners list features the ones you’d expect: Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge, and Dominicans Fernando Tatis Jr., Guerrero Jr., and José Ramírez. But look at Duvall, the oldest player in the Top 10 at 33. Duvall has 37 homers on the season (behind only Tatis in the NL) and has picked up the pace since arriving in Atlanta at the trade deadline, hitting 15 in 47 games after splicing 21 in 91 games with Miami. But it is the line of the driven ones that stands out the most. He leads the Old Circuit with 109 RBIs, six more than the Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado.
6) The RBI lead will have some crazy names
Among the top 10 in their respective leagues: The aforementioned Duvall, Dominican Teóscar Hernández, Austin Meadows, Kyle Seager, Ozzie Albies and Venezuelan Jesús Aguilar.
7) Carlos Santana will continue to negotiate his walks
Santana is having a tough season (by his standards) in Kansas City. He has just 34 extra-base hits in 619 trips to the plate and is hitting .213. But pitchers still respect him. The always patient Santana is tied for seventh in the majors in walks, there alongside Bryce Harper, Vlad Jr., Yoán Moncada, Matt Olson and Shohei Ohtani.
8) Joey Gallo could still set the strikeout record
He leads the majors with 200 strikeouts, and while he has yet to hit his career-high (207 in 2018, 10th all-time in a season), he is still likely to break the mark of 223 set by Mark Reynolds in 2009. (A record that, in this era, has lasted longer than one would have thought.) The Yankees have nine games left. Gallo needs 24 more strikeouts to break the record. It is still possible.
9) We could have three hitters with 40 home runs in the top 10 in stolen bases
Ohtani (24 BR, ninth in MLB) got there first (45 HR) and then was joined by Tatis Jr (25 BR, seventh) Wednesday night. If J-Ram (24 BR, eighth) can hit another five home runs, it will be the first time something like this has happened.
10) Aaron Nola keeps doing a lot of things right
Nola has been a frustrating case for the Phillies fans this year, as he has not reached that level of ace they expected, but the man continues to strike out rivals: He is in sixth place in the majors with 219 and probably sets a record. personal, despite that 4.64 ERA. He’s one of two top-10 strikeouts with an ERA worse than 4.00 – the White Sox’s Dylan Cease (212K) is the other.
11) Veterans give you tickets
Of the 20 pitchers with the most innings thrown, nearly half (nine) are in their 30s. (And a 10th, Robbie Ray, will turn 30 on October 1.) Two of them – Charlie Morton (18th at 170) and Adam Wainwright (2nd at 200.1) – are over 37 years old. There is only one pitcher of 25 years or less in the Top 20: Mexico’s Julio César Urías of the Dodgers with 174.1 in 10th place. (Urías also has a chance of being the first 20-game winner in the National League since Max Scherzer in 2016).