Basically, winning the Triple Crown means that a batter leads the league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in, or RBI.
There’s a real possibility that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could win the Triple Crown in 2021.
▫️ 30 HR (2nd in MLB)
▫️ 77 RBI (1st in MLB)
▫️ .335 AVG (1st in MLB)
Will he be the leader in all three major categories by the end of 2021? pic.twitter.com/v0ytpNnqXy
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 18, 2021
It is seen as the epitome of a complete hitter, one capable of hitting for average, but also with power.
In today’s game, it’s extremely hard to achieve because sluggers tend to have swing-and-miss tendencies, making them more vulnerable and prone to strikeouts, thus decreasing their average.
At the same time, average hitters are often seen as having very little power, thus diminishing both their home runs and RBI total.
It takes a batting monster, some extraordinary talent to win the Triple Crown.
A Little History
It has only been achieved 27 times if we combine the Major Leagues and the Negro Leagues.
In a major league season, it was last achieved by generational slugger Miguel Cabrera in his peak, in 2012.
Miguel Cabrera a living legend
Triple Crown winner 👑
World Series Champion #respect
— NCAA FLASH (@NCAAflash) July 18, 2021
Guerrero, currently 22 years old and son of former legendary hitter Vladimir Guerrero, is being presented perhaps with a unique opportunity of making history at an extremely young age.
The slugger currently trails Michael Brantley for the American League lead in batting average.
The Blue Jays phenom has .328, and the Houston Astros star is at .329.
Guerrero is also second in home runs in the junior circuit with 31, behind Shohei Ohtani’s 34.
Guerrero does lead the league in runs batted in, with 78, compared to 74 by Ohtani.
As you can see, the Triple Crown is within reach for him.
But he will have a hard time securing it, and he will, most likely, not win it.
Winning The Triple Crown Is Extremely Hard
It’s not like he can’t win: to the contrary, if there is a man talented and versatile enough to win the Triple Crown in today’s MLB, it’s Guerrero and it may not be close.
It’s just that the odds of pacing the league in three such different statistical categories are very long to begin with.
He may catch Ohtani on the home runs, especially with the latter being somewhat injury-prone throughout his career, but if he remains healthy, the Japanese star will be there, smashing homers all season long.
And while he should remain extremely competitive in the RBI department, there is no shortage of run-producers in the AL looking to take that title away from him, as well.
Again, Guerrero seems like the best-equipped hitter to make a run at the Triple Crown.
Perhaps he is the closest thing the league has seen to peak Cabrera in a while.
But the Triple Crown is extremely hard to achieve, and the fact that only 27 major leaguers have won it in more than 120 years playing the sport should tell us something.