Nick Markakis is leading the American League in doubles with 31, and has just 31 RBI. Doesn’t it seem like it would be hard to hit with enough power to lead the league in doubles, and have so few RBI? I thought maybe he was en route to a historic feat, but per Baseball Reference it’s not actually that rare to have more doubles than RBI. The champ in this department is Mark Grudzielanek, who led the NL in 1997 with 54 doubles, and managed just 51 RBI.
It’s pretty clear that achieving this feat involves a serious commitment to not hit home runs. But check out Ryan Freel’s 2006, in which he hit 30 doubles, 2 triples, and a respectable 8 homers, for a slugging percentage of .399, and still managed to drive in only 27 runs. How did this happen?
Markakis, for that matter, has 6 home runs himself, and is slugging a respectable .455. As far as I can tell, the highest slugging percentage turned in by a full-time player who ended the season with more doubles than RBI is .419, recorded by Frank Baumholtz in 1953. So maybe Nick is on his way to the record books after all.