How hard is it to win the Triple Crown in Major League Baseball? Only 15 players have ever won the Triple Crown since 1878 (Baseball-Reference.com). In order to win the Triple Crown, a player must lead the league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in.
The last player to win the Triple Crown was Miguel Cabrera back in 2012. This year, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has a legitimate chance of winning the American League Triple Crown. The Blue Jays young slugger currently leads the AL in all three categories with a .344 batting average, 21 home runs, and 55 runs batted in. Here are three reasons why Guerrero can win the Triple Crown this year.
- Just Like His Father, Guerrero Can Hit Any Pitch
Guerrero comes from fantastic baseball bloodlines, as his father Vladimir Sr. was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame back in 2018. Guerrero displays an uncanny ability to get hits on pitches that aren’t even in the strike zone, just like his father used to with the Montreal Expos. The 22-year old shows a great deal of maturity for a hitter his age.
Hitting for a high average is nothing new to Guerrero as he posted a robust batting average of .381 while in the Minor Leagues in 2018. Guerrero also doesn’t strike out as much as most big league power hitters. If he can stay hot and avoid injury, Guerrero can definitely lead the AL in batting average this season.
- Guerrero has more Power Potential than any other Hitter
At 6-2 and 250 pounds, Guerrero is built like a prototypical power hitter. His current home run total of 21 not only leads the American League, but all of Major League Baseball as well. Guerrero rarely goes into hitting slumps and is always a threat to take pitchers deep.
The scary thing about Guerrero is that he is still improving at the plate and even learning how to take more walks. Guerrero’s father was a big time power hitter back in his prime but he never hit 50 homers in a single season. Guerrero Jr. should easily eclipse 50 homers this year and could potentially make a run at 60.
- The Blue Jays Lineup Protects Guerrero Well
This is an often overlooked fact about winning a Triple Crown. In years past, the Jays wouldn’t have had enough firepower in their lineup to protect a prolific hitter like Guerrero. This year, though, the Jays have guys like Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk, and Cavan Biggio hitting behind Guerrero to keep opposing pitchers honest. This makes it harder for pitchers to simply walk Guerrero to pitch around him.
Guerrero also benefits from guys like Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette hitting in front of him. Semien and Bichette do a fantastic job of getting on base and providing Guerrero with plenty of RBI opportunities. It shouldn’t be a problem for Guerrero to continue leading the American League in runs batted in.