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The NL home run race heats up

Aug 31, 2011, 1:19 PM EDT

Mike Stanton AP

With Mike Stanton going deep again last night, there’s now a three-way tie atop the NL home run leaderboard:

1. Matt Kemp (Dodgers): 31
1. Albert Pujols (Cardinals): 31
1. Mike Stanton (Marlins): 31
4. Lance Berkman (Cardinals): 30
4. Dan Uggla (Braves): 30
6. Prince Fielder (Brewers): 29
6. Ryan Howard (PhIllies): 29
8. Jay Bruce (Reds): 28
8. Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies): 28

Stanton, playing this season at 21, could become the youngest player ever to lead the National League in homers, overtaking Eddie Mathews, who was a slightly older 21 when he first did it.  Tony Conigliaro was just 20 when he led the AL in homers in 1965.

Stanton would also be the first Marlin to ever lead the NL in homers.

Pujols, on the other hand, is trying for his third straight crown, a feat unaccomplished in the NL since Mike Schmidt won three straight from 1974-76.  Pujols never led the league in homers during his first eight years with the Cards, but he was tops in 2009 (47) and 2010 (42).

Kemp would be just the second Los Angeles Dodger to lead the league in homers, joining 2004 champ Adrian Beltre.

Uggla would be the first second baseman to win the crown since the Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg in 1990.

  1. Lukehart80 - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    Having seen Mike Trout’s accomplishments talked about as “historic” because of his age, I’m surprised at how little of that you see about Stanton. There are very few players who’ve hit so many home runs while so young.

    If he hits 5 more HR this season, the only guys with as many or more (21 or younger) will be Eddie Mathews (47), Mel Ott (42), Frank Robinson (38), Albert Pujols (37), and Alex Rodriguez (36). That’s some damn select company.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      Agreed. Stanton is a beast. The HR hit hit into the 2nd deck the opposite way last night was simply amazing.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Remember when Pujols sucked this year? I don’t either.

  3. thefalcon123 - Aug 31, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Matt Kemp’s 2011 ranks:

    HR: 1st
    RBI: 2nd (1 behind Ryan Howard)
    BA: 4th (.14 behind Jose Reyes)

    Clayton Kershaw’s 2011 ranks:

    Wins: 1st
    SO: 1st
    ERA: 2nd (.40 behind Johnny Cueto)

    It probably won’t happen, but the Dodgers have a shot at winning both the batter and pitcher triple crown. What’s even more amazing is that they’ll be doing it for a team that is 6 games under .500 and 12 games out of first.

    • Vincent - Aug 31, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      You’re right, it probably wouldn’t happen… but nonetheless, neat observation and it would be pretty darn spiffy if they can pull it off. Has anything like that ever happened before?

    • paulsdamnblog - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:19 PM

      Dodger fans need something to cheer about.

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