Triple Crown stats to Statcast and beyond, mind-boggling numbers in 2017
By Chad Thornburg
The 2017 regular season is in the books, but before we turn the page to October playoff baseball, there are a number of statistical achievements worth recognizing from the last six months in baseball. Below is a look at this year's MLB and league leaders across noteworthy categories, including everything from the classic Triple Crown categories to new Statcast™ metrics.
Home runs:MLB / NL -- Giancarlo Stanton (59): He hit the most home runs since 2001, when Barry Bonds had 73 and Sammy Sosa had 64. Stanton joins Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Sosa, Mark McGwire and Bonds as the only players to hit 59 or more homers in a single season.
AL -- Aaron Judge (52): He set MLB's rookie record. Oakland's Khris Davis was second in the AL with 43, and Joey Gallo was third at 41. J.D. Martinez clubbed 45 home runs, but split them between leagues with the Tigers and D-backs.
Batting average:MLB / AL -- Jose Altuve (.346): It's his second MLB batting title and his third AL crown in four years.
NL -- Charlie Blackmon (.331): Blackmon is also the first player to lead MLB in hits (213), runs (137), triples (14) and total bases (387). He is the 11th Rockie in the club's 25-year history to win the NL batting crown.
RBIs:MLB / NL -- Stanton (132): His previous career high for RBIs was 105 in 2014.
Stolen bases:MLB / NL -- Dee Gordon (60): He narrowly edged Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton (59) for his third stolen base crown. He won it in 2014 (64) and '15 (58). Gordon is the first Major Leaguer to total 200 hits and 60 steals in a season since the Marlins' Juan Pierre in 2003 (204 hits and a franchise-record 64 stolen bases).
AL -- Whit Merrifield (34): With the game's top three basestealers -- Gordon, Hamilton and Washington's Trea Turner (45) -- all in the NL, Merrifield topped the AL from fourth in the Majors.
On-base percentage:MLB / NL -- Joey Votto (.454): For the sixth time in eight years, Votto finished atop the NL in on-base percentage. He's now led the Majors in that category four times. He also ranked first in walks (134).
AL -- Mike Trout (.442): Despite missing 41 games due to injury, Trout ended the year as a qualified batter. His .442 on-base percentage is the highest of his career.
Slugging percentage: MLB -- Martinez (.690): He did not qualify for the batting title, logging 487 plate appearances, which is 15 shy of the number needed to qualify (502). However, per rule 9.22 (a), "any player with fewer than the required number of plate appearances whose average would be the highest, if he were charged with the required number of plate appearances shall be awarded the batting, slugging or on-base percentage championship, as the case may be."
Therefore, even if you gave Martinez 15 hitless plate appearances, his slugging percentage would still have led the league, and his .690 is well ahead of Stanton (.631), who finished second in MLB. And since he split his season between the AL and NL after a midseason trade from Detroit to Arizona, Martinez only ends up leading MLB, not the AL or NL.
AL -- Trout (.629): His previous best was an AL-leading .590 slugging percentage i 2015.
Statcast™ barrels:MLB / AL -- Judge (87): It's no surprise Judge tops the big leagues in this category. He paced MLB in average exit velocity (94.9 mph) and his 121.1-mph home run on June 10 is the hardest on record.
NL -- Stanton (76): MLB's home run leader wasn't far behind Judge. He also ranked among the league leaders in average exit velocity (91.8 mph entering Sunday).
ERA:MLB / AL -- Kluber (2.25): He's the Indians' sixth ERA champion and the first since Mike Garcia (1949). He tied for first with the Twins' Ervin Santana in complete games (five) and shutouts (three).
NL -- Kershaw (2.31): This is his fifth NL ERA title, tying him with Hall of Famer and Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax. Kershaw has now lowered his ERA for nine straight seasons.
Strikeouts:MLB / AL -- Sale (308): He's the first AL pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 1999 to strike out 300 or more batters in a single season. He and Martinez are the only Red Sox pitchers to reach this milestone.
NL -- Max Scherzer (268): He tops the NL for the second straight year. His 268 strikeouts are the fewest he's had in three seasons with the Nationals.
Saves:MLB / AL -- Alex Colome (47): He's the first Rays closer to lead MLB in this category. Colome converted 47 of 53 save opportunities.
NL -- Greg Holland and Kenley Jansen (41): Both NL relievers have recorded more than 40 saves in three of their last four seasons.
5-star catches:MLB / NL -- Ender Inciarte (7): He hauled in seven batted balls with a catch probability of 25 percent or lower. He also made 14 4-star (26-50 percent) and 27 3-star catches (51-75 percent).
Outs above average: MLB / AL -- Byron Buxton (24): He leads all Major Leaguers in outs above average, a range-based fielding metric that accounts for the number of catch probability plays made and their difficulty.
NL -- Inciarte (19): He entered Sunday as the only other player besides Buxton to exceed 15 in outs above average.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.