Shohei Ohtani Triple Crown watch: Can Dodgers superstar accomplish feat not seen in NL since 1937?


Major League Baseball has only seen one Triple Crown winner since 1967 and that was when Miguel Cabrera did so in the American League in 2012. The National League hasn’t had one since Hall of Famer Joe “Ducky” Medwick pulled it off with a .374 average, 31 homers and 154 RBI in 1937. 

Could Shohei Ohtani break the National League drought this season? He’s close enough here right around the halfway point that it’s worth watching. Let’s check it out. 

NL batting average leaders

  1. Ohtani, .322
  2. Jurickson Profar, .316
  3. Luis Arráez, .310
  4. Bryce Harper, .305
    Marcell Ozuna, .305

Of note here is Christian Yelich is hitting .325, but he isn’t qualified for the batting title. He has 237 plate appearances in 78 games, which is 3.038 plate appearances per game. A player needs 3.1 PA per team game to qualify, so as long as he doesn’t get injured again, he’ll be qualified soon enough and this means company for Ohtani. 

NL home run leaders

  1. Ohtani, 25
  2. Ozuna, 21
  3. Harper, 20
  4. Teoscar Hernández, 18
  5. Christian Walker, 17
    Kyle Schwarber, 17

NL RBI leaders

1. Ozuna, 64
    Alec Bohm, 64
3. Ohtani, 61
4. Harper, 57
5. Profar, 55
    Hernández, 55

Obviously, the so-called Triple Crown stats aren’t the only important ones, nor are they necessarily the most important stats, but it’s been a tradition for well over 100 years to call them the Triple Crown stats and it was great fun when Cabrera won in 2012. Perhaps Ohtani can do something similar, which would be the first time in the National League in 87 years.

He’d also be the first Dodgers player ever to accomplish the feat. The only National League players to pull it off were Medwick (Cardinals), Rogers Hornsby (twice with the Cardinals), Heinie Zimmerman (Cubs) and Paul Hines (now defunct Providence Greys). The American League has had 10 — including Ted Williams twice — while there were 11 Negro Leagues winners, including Oscar Charleston three times and Josh Gibson twice. 

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