Amongst the plethora of awards given out at the end of the baseball season, two are batting titles, one naturally per league. This is defined as the hitter in each league that has the highest batting average with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game, or at least 502 plate appearances for the season. Last year, Jose Altuve and DJ LeMahieu were the batting champions in the American League and National League respectively, but that does not necessarily make them baseball’s most productive hitters.
Batting average (BA) measures the percentage of time that a hitter gets a base hit. Quantitatively, it is defined by the number of hits divided by at bats:
In celebration of the baseball Hall of Fame elections today, we decided to investigate the distribution of hits necessary for a player to achieve the offensive triple crown and the minimal number of hits needed to accomplish this feat in 2016.
The offensive triple crown goes to the player who leads the league in home runs (HR), batting average (BA), and runs batted in (RBI). However, many baseball analysts, including myself, ignore RBIs as a measure of skill because they depend too strongly on factors outside a player's control. Instead, we will use slugging percentage (SLG).