St. Louis Cardinals: MLB needs a diamond crown to best the triple crown

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 22: In this handout provided by Disney, 2012 MLB Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera poses with Mickey and Minnie Mouse at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on February 22, 2013 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers are visiting the Atlanta Braves today for the first game of MLB spring training. Last season, Cabrera became the first magor league player to capture the triple crown in 45 years. (Photo by Kellie Warren/Disney via Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 22: In this handout provided by Disney, 2012 MLB Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera poses with Mickey and Minnie Mouse at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on February 22, 2013 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers are visiting the Atlanta Braves today for the first game of MLB spring training. Last season, Cabrera became the first magor league player to capture the triple crown in 45 years. (Photo by Kellie Warren/Disney via Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter is lighting the world on fire. While winning the triple crown is out of the picture for him, there is still an argument to add another category to the triple crown mix that Marp could run away with.

With the St. Louis Cardinals‘ fourth (!!!) straight series win in Miami, Matt Carpenter added another two homers to his now league-leading home run total and now leads the National League in the following categories: home runs, doubles, slugging, OPS, extra-base hits, ISO and others that can be nit picked and sliced up in many ways to make him look great.

While that list is admittedly choosing related power stats that all show the similar point that he is the best power hitter in the NL, he does have a legitimate chance to lead the league in homers and OPS the rest of the way, which brings me to the point of this article; OPS deserves it’s own place among the triple crown (batting average, home runs, RBI’s) statistics to create, the diamond crown.

Quick History

The triple crown is a very rare achievement. To win it, a player must lead in each of the three aforementioned categories at the end of regular season play. If a player can do this, they get a fancy crown that I am not allowed to put a picture of, but the last player to win this award was Miguel Cabrera in 2012. In total, only 17 total players have won the triple crown since the first in 1878. Four of these winners have been Cardinals so we can brag about that now too.

Of those 17 winners, the only times where the triple crown winner did not lead in the league in OPS was in 1912 with Hennie Zimmerman and in 1937 when Joe Medwick won the award. This is why, in my opinion, MLB should add OPS to the award and make it a diamond crown.

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With the recent advent of statcast and as more and more fans become are exposed to these stats, OPS is gaining notoriety as an easy stat that gives a different window into how a player is batting. Via Fangraphs, “In general, OPS is better than something like batting average or RBI because it captures a player’s ability to get on base and their ability to hit for extra bases. For the most part, those two factors capture more of what hitters are trying to do.”

So in short OPS shows quickly how well a player is at doing the things good hitters do, slug and get on base.

The biggest objection to OPS is that it values a point of slugging as much as a point of OBP, which is better weighted in a stat like wOBA. The problem with wOBA is that is one of the more advanced statcast stats because of it’s advanced weighting equation. wOBA just doesn’t have the notoriety that OPS does. OPS has an easy formula (just on base percentage plus slugging) and is being exposed to fans much more often.

Fox Sports is adding to the notoriety of OPS by placing the stat under players name’s in the graphic they have for the lineup at the beginning of their games, as well as in the graphic showing the rest of their season stats. FSMW would not put a stat in their graphics without that they don’t think people would understand and this just speaks to the familiarity that everyday fans are at with OPS.

Adding OPS would arguably give the triple crown an even cooler name and, given historical evidence, would most likely not keep any future triple crown winners from winning the award.

There have been plenty of debates arguing that batting average is not a good enough stat to measure a hitter by, or RBI’s, or just homers. Even these three stats together may not show the whole picture of a great hitter (for example: Marp’s low RBI total because of batting leadoff). Adding OPS would reward players better for their whole value to their team and keep urging fans to learn more about advanced stats which in turn helps baseball.

Next. A look at Ian Oxnevad. dark

Adding OPS to the triple crown stats to make the diamond crown would further bring notoriety to some more of these advanced stats for everyday fans. People complain that baseball is too old school and never changes, this change moves baseball into a smarter place and lets hitters be better represented. Thank you for reading!

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