Astros fan, team consultant and (gulp) sometime-contributor Bill Gilbert emailed me the other day, having completed his yearly look at the Triple Milestones reached during the 2006 baseball season. "Triple Milestones" is the term that Mr. Gilbert uses for player seasons that include a .300 average, 100 RBI's and 30 home runs. Bill James refers to such campaigns as "Hall of Fame Seasons" in his Abstracts, because all eligible players with five or more such seasons are in the Hall of Fame.
In 2006, five National League players satsified the requirements for the Triple Milestones in all three categories, as follows:
Of the five, Holliday, Howard, and Utley were recording their first seasons having reached the plateaus. Pujols made 2006 his sixth (straight) season with the three magic numbers, and Lance can now say he's done it three times. Might you thus say Lance is 60% of his way to the Hall of Fame?
Lance is one of only four players in team history to have reached these standards in a single season, and he has more seasons than any other player after Bagwell.
In case you're wondering, Alou reached the triple milestones only with the Astros, never with any of his other teams, and he missed reaching them in every active year with the team only because he hit 27 rather than 30 home runs in 2001.
Alou clearly reached his apex with the Astros; because he was never as good with anyone else, he is not only arguably the greatest pure hitter in team history, but is also on the outside looking in as far as his Hall chances.
Mr. Gilbert also looks at minor leaguers, and those who split the year between the majors and the minors. Only one such player posted a triple milestone season, and what do you know, us Astro fans have heard of him:
|Luke Scott||Round Rock (PCL)||.299-20- 63|
|Houston NL||.336-10- 37|
For what it's worth, Gilbert notes that Ryan Howard had just such a split Triple Milestone season in 2005; I guess you could say he followed it up with another creditable effort.
Gilbert's entire article, in .doc format, can be found right here.