1. Can Justin Morneau win the American League Triple Crown?
- Argument for Justin Morneau winning the American League Triple Crown: Justin Mourneau has been awesome this season. He is hitting .347 which is good enough for 5th best in the American League. Miguel Cabrera is leading at .377 which is not that big of a difference because I guarantee you Miguel Cabrera is not going to hit .377 so if Morneau can hit .330 he will have a good shot to win the batting title. The biggest competition is if teammate Joe Mauer can get enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. The next stat is homeruns where Morneau has 14 homeruns right now which makes him tied for second with Mark Teixeira 2 homeruns behind leader Carlos Pena. Pena is not going to keep this going and Teixeira is not a 40 homerun hitter so if Justin can hit 35-38 he has a real shot at winning the homerun title. The easiest one for him to win is the rbi title. Right now Morneau has 44 rbi's which ranks him 3rd 3 behind Jason Bay and 5 behind leader Evan Longoria. I think that is the most realistic title for him because through the years Justin Morneau has been a rbi machine and this pace is nothing new for him. The biggest reason he has a shot at the triple crown is Denard Span and Joe Mauer. They always get on and as long as that continues there will be rbi opprotunities, also will see better pitches with men on base which will help his average and homerun totals. I know its early but he has a real chance at this.
- Argument for Justin Morneau not winning the Triple Crown: Honestly, the odds are pretty deep against him winning the triple crown. He is not leading any of the categories and it is very very early. Another thing Morneau's career high in batting average for a season is .321 and that is far from a sure thing to win a batting title with a .321 average. Another thing Morneau's swing has changed through the years he goes the other way a lot more than he used to. He also plays in a pitcher's park. It is nothing like Petco Park but it is not as good as Fenway or Yankee Stadium where balls just jump out of. The Metrodome plays more for the pitcher than the hitter. Finally, He is a gap hitter who hits alot of doubles so it would be hard for him to hit the 40+ homeruns it would take to win the homerun title. Overall, there is not much chance he can win the triple crown.
- My take: Honestly, Justin Morneau realistically probably does not have a very good chance to win the triple crown. However, He is probably the best 1st baseman in the league and he keeps getting better as a hitter. Every time he comes up there is a chance he is going to go yard. I believe he will probably win his 2nd rbi title in 4 years, but I don't think he is gong to quite win the batting title or the homerun title. I look for him to hit between 30-35 homeruns and bat about .325 which won't be quite good enough to win those titles. The thing about Morneau is that would be an unbelievable season being that noone has hit for the triple crown since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967 which is 42 years ago which shows how tough it is to do. It should be an interesting summer to see if Mourneau can keep it up and challenge the immortals of the game.