Pop quiz, hot shot! You already know which stud is leading MLB in home runs this season. That would be Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton with 46. You also probably have a good idea which star owns the highest batting average. Why, it's Houston Astros hit maestro Jose Altuve at
Pop quiz, hot shot! You already know which stud is leading MLB in home runs this season. That would be Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton with 46. You also probably have a good idea which star owns the highest batting average. Why, it's Houston Astros hit maestro Jose Altuve at .358.
But which player tops the oft-overlooked runs-scored leaderboard?
(Cue Final Jeopardy music.)
(Any idea yet?)
(OK, pencils down!)
It's Charlie Blackmon.
Even if you knew the answer -- he is the leadoff hitter for the high-scoring Colorado Rockies, after all -- chances are you didn't realize Blackmon has crossed home plate a whopping 115 times already.
For comparison, Stanton is second in the category this year … with 95. Over the entire 2016 season, reigning AL MVP Award winner Michael Trout led everyone in runs scored with 123, and that was the highest total since Matt Carpenter racked up 126 in 2013. Blackmon could surpass that by the end of August!
Blackmon is leading the National League in runs (115), hits (168), total bases (310) and even triples (14). That puts him in good company. After all, the last player to lead the NL in all four of those categories, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, was the legendary Stan Musial -- in 1948. That season, Stan the Man had 230 hits, 429 total bases, 18 triples and 135 runs.
Although scoring runs may not carry quite the same popular appeal as crushing homers or hitting for a high average, it's the main offensive objective of baseball, and Blackmon is doing it better than anyone this year. In fact, he's doing it better than anyone has in recent memory.
The 31-year-old center fielder is so far ahead of the pack and scoring at such a blistering rate that he's on pace for 149 runs. Blackmon will have a real shot at 150. That's 1-5-0. Just how often has that mark been reached?
While you might have a vague sense that there have been all of eight 60-homer campaigns (last: Barry Bonds' record 73 and Sammy Sosa's 64, both in 2001) and only 13 modern-era .400 seasons (last: Ted Williams' .406 in 1941, of course), it's perhaps surprising to learn that the 150-run season has happened a similarly rare 19 times since 1901.
New Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Bagwell was the last to pull it off, totaling 152 with the Astros in 2000. Before that? You have to go back to Ted Williams … in 1949!
The full list of the dozen players to hit the 150-run threshold is below. You'll recognize the names, including Babe Ruth, who did it six times from 1920-30.
MLB players with 150+ runs scored in a single season
Runs Score Table
Can Blackmon become the 13th player to join the club? Well, the Rockies have played 124 games, meaning he has a maximum of 38 left to score a minimum of 35 more times -- or 0.921 runs per game. Believe it or not, that's slightly below his pace to date of 0.927 per team game.
Blackmon just might make a run at it.
Jason Catania is a reporter for MLB.com.