Baseball Esoterica

August 23, 2005

Triple and SB Fun I - What's up with Roger Metzger?

Jayson Stark's interesting recent column on triples and stolen bases has inspired me to expand upon his research with some additional interesting findings.

More Triples than Doubles
Considering the rarity of our beloved triple, it seems impossible to hit more of them than the common double. Consider the following chart, which plots the ratio of doubles to triples since 1950...that is, the number of doubles hit for each triple.

2B/3B since 1950


Even in the fifties, there were five doubles hit for every triple. These days, that's doubled to 10 to one. That said, unsurprisingly, there have been only 22 player-seasons since 1950 (min 250 AB) in which a player achieved this feat. Here they are, and, for some context, I've included the doubles to triples ratio for the year it was done. You'll NEVER guess who done it the most.


Player
Deion Sanders

Year
1992

2B
6

3B
14
Year's
2B/3B
7.76
Wes Covington 1957 4 8 5.05
Rafael Belliard 1988 0 4 7.62
Roger Metzger 1973 11 14 6.62
Roger Cedeno 2000 2 5 9.32
Lance Johnson 1994 11 14 8.16
Sonny Jackson 1969 3 5 5.71
Luis Alicea 1992 9 11 7.76
Larry Bowa 1972 11 13 6.24
Mike Felder 1987 5 7 7.59
Roger Metzger 1975 7 9 6.12
Andy Pafko 1955 3 5 4.66
Mike Phillips 1976 4 6 5.43
Craig Reynolds 1981 10 12 6.09
Craig Robinson 1974 4 6 6.15
Carlos Bernier 1953 7 8 4.82
David Hulse 1993 9 10 7.94
Jerry Lynch 1954 4 5 4.38
Tom Upton 1950 5 6 4.69
Roger Metzger 1979 7 8 6.02
Jorge Orta 1973 9 10 6.62
Fred Kendall 1972 3 4 6.24

It's not surprising that the inimitable Deion Sanders would head this list. His eight more triples than doubles is twice the second largest difference. And you've gotta love Mendoza-clone Rafael Belliard's zero double, four triple season...huh? (This is actually the only modern 250 AB season with no doubles!) But the king? Why, it's...Roger Metzger?? I can't quite explain his three appearances on the list...no one else has done this even twice! I mean, he was a stolen base threat early in his career, but...um...any ideas?

Deion and Roger appear on the career list as well. While no one has sustained such a pace over a career, these eight guys have hit more than half as many triples as doubles (min 2000 AB).

Name 2B 3B 2B/3B 3B/H SB
Roger Metzger 101 71 1.42 7.3% 83
Lance Johnson 175 117 1.50 7.5% 327
Rodney Scott 43 26 1.65 5.2% 205
Deion Sanders 72 43 1.67 7.7% 186
Mike Felder 59 32 1.84 5.7% 161
Willie Wilson 281 147 1.91 6.7% 668
Omar Moreno 171 87 1.97 6.9% 487
Vince Coleman 176 89 1.98 6.2% 752

And just for good measure, here's the bottom of the list.

Name 2B 3B 2B/3B 3B/H SB
Ramon Hernandez 118 1
118.00 0.2% 4
Mike Lowell 205 2
102.50 0.2% 17
Scott Servais 130 2
65.00 0.3% 3
Willie Aikens 129 2
64.50 0.3% 4
Rich Dauer 193 3
64.33 0.3% 6
Chris Hoiles 126 2
63.00 0.3% 5
Joe Oliver 174 3
58.00 0.4% 13
John Flaherty 171 3
57.00 0.4% 10
Mike Sweeney 228 4
57.00 0.4% 45
Jim Leyritz 107 2
53.50 0.3% 7
Charles Johnson 207 4
51.75 0.4% 6

What's Mike Sweeney doing on that list with a bunch of cathers? He's got a lot of doubles, and he's gotta run better than Charles Johnson! He's must be on the list of most doubles in a season without a triple.

Name Year
2B 3B SB
Craig Biggio 1999 56 0 28
Edgar Martinez 1995 52 0 4
Craig Biggio 2004 47 0 7
Mike Sweeney 2001 46 0 10
Shawn Green 1999 45 0 20
Jody Reed 1990 45 0 4
John Olerud 2000 45 0 0

Ah yes, there he is...but, now, what's up with Craig Biggio?? How do you hit 56 doubles, have the speed to steal 28 bases, and never manage get to third on a batted ball...even once? (a la Carlos Delgado's 2000 campaign: 57 doubles, 1 triple) Heck, teammate Mike Hampton had three triples that year! I guess that's why we love this game. (By the way, John Olerud and Frank Thomas have the most 20-plus double/zero triple seasons with seven. Which I'm sure you were wondering.)

That's it with triples for now...check back soon for some stolen base feats.

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