Leader Watch: Blackmon on pace for 30-30-15

Rockies outfielder having career year; tops Majors in runs, total bases and triples

August 18th, 2017

The Rockies dropped a 10-4 matinee to the Braves on Thursday, but that didn't stop Charlie Blackmon from doing his thing.

Blackmon collected a pair of doubles (giving him 27 on the year) and a home run (his 28th) at Coors Field, continuing a terrific season for Colorado's star center fielder. He's leading the Majors with 111 runs scored, 303 total bases and 14 triples, while also pacing the National League with 164 hits.

Thursday's powerful performance also put Blackmon closer to history, or at the very least some recent history. With three more doubles, two more home runs and one more triple, Blackmon would become just the 10th player since at least 1913 to post a 30-homer, 30-double, 15-triple season.

The list of the previous nine, in chronological order: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig (three times), Jim Bottomley, Al Simmons, Chuck Klein, Hank Greenberg, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial and, most recently in 2007, . Eight of those nine players are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and Rollins will at the very least be on the ballot in '22.

Blackmon certainly has a long way to go catch up to those legends. Playing in Coors Field, advantageous in both its elevation and cavernous outfield dimensions, also helps; he's hit more than half his doubles and home runs at home, along with all but one of his triples. But it's also why Blackmon has more than a decent chance to join the 30-30-15 club, as he'll play 20 more games there beginning with this weekend's series against the Brewers.

Coors Field may help Blackmon get there, but it's far from the only reason for his success. As he previously told MLB.com, Blackmon has been trying -- and largely succeeding -- to hit to center and left fields with greater authority. Statcast™'s sprint speed metric also shows that Blackmon is averaging 28.2 feet per second on his "max effort" runs on the basepaths this year, third fastest of any Rockie and well above the 27 foot-per-second average for all Major Leaguers. Heck, we've seen that speed in action during Blackmon's two inside-the-park home runs this season, each ranking among the five fastest home-to-home times on inside-the-parkers league-wide in 2017.

The speed is even more impressive when one considers Blackmon's lanky 6-foot-3 frame. According to Baseball-Reference, he would become just the 10th player in at least the past 100 years to record 15 triples in a season while standing at least that tall.

Then again, it's been an impressive year all-around for Blackmon; one in which he could see his name atop several leaderboards by season's end. Regardless of where he plays his home games, it's time Blackmon get recognition for the numbers he's putting up.