Pete and I were working together this past Thursday evening when he asked me who I thought was going to win the NL Triple Crown. He caught me off guard by his question. Then I realized that I never noticed the NL Triple Crown race. Back in July I highlighted the possible AL Triple Crown winners in my post called Possible AL Triple Crown and NL ERA Dominance, which to be honest none of the players I profiled will win this year's Triple Crown. On the other hand, the NL is another story. It would be the first time in 73 years that a National League player has won the Triple Crown since Joe Medwick achieved the feat for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937. Let's see who's who in the NL Triple Crown race.
- Carlos Gonzalez
The man affectionately known as "CarGo" in Denver seems to have come out of nowhere for the Colorado Rockies this season. In his first full season (he played in 85 games with the Oakland A's in 2008 and 89 games with the Rockies in 2009), Gonzalez has exploded at the plate. He leads the NL with a .332 batting average, is currently fifth in hommers with 31 (four behind leader Albert Pujols) and is third with 93 RBI (four behind the leader Joey Votto). Having watched some of the Rockies games while at work, I can tell you that Carlos Gonzalez is an amazing player. Not only has he emerged as a potential Triple Crown winner, but he has also played himself into potential MVP consideration.
- Joey Votto
Building upon the success of the last two seasons, Votto has shown that he is only getting better with each passing year. In his fourth season Votto is currently second in batting with a .325 average (seven points behind Carlos Gonzalez), tied for third in homers with 32 (three behind Albert Pujols) and is the league leader with 97 RBI. Votto is one of the main reasons why the Cincinnati Reds are the NL Central Division leaders with an eight game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Albert Pujols
Perennial NL MVP is the odds on favorite to qualify for the Triple Crown each season though I have to say that he is the longshot to win the award. Pujols is currently fifth in league batting .313 average (nineteen points behind leader Carlos Gonzalez), he leads the league with 35 homers and is second in the league with 95 RBI (two behind Joey Votto). Though it would take Pujols to go on a major tear to reach both Gonzalez and Votto in terms of average. It can be done. Pujols is like a machine when it comes to his at-bats and he is only getting better as he enters his prime years.
I believe that one of these three players will also win the NL MVP. Maybe whomever wins the Triple Crown will take both awards home. September will prove to be an interesting month in Baseball.