Reaching 40 stolen bases over the course of a season is an accomplishment in itself, but two players have already managed to reach this mark in the first half of the season—and they are continuing to add to their totals.
Both Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros and Dee Gordon of the Los Angeles Dodgers have swiped 40 or more bags already, and each player has 100-plus hits to go along with his impressive baserunning prowess.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, this season marks the first time since 1986 that multiple players have reached these numbers prior to the All-Star break.
Back in the 1986 season, Rickey Henderson of the New York Yankees collected an incredible 51 stolen bases and racked up exactly 100 hits over 407 plate appearances prior to the Midsummer Classic.
In the same year, Tim Raines of the Montreal Expos reached the same accomplishment, swiping 41 bags and hitting safely 104 times before the break.
Henderson went on to record 160 hits and 87 steals on the season, while Raines posted totals of 194 and 70, respectively.
Jumping ahead to 2014, Altuve's 127 hits entering Thursday lead all of baseball, as he finds himself 13 hits ahead of the next closest player, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera (114).
Although Gordon's 42 stolen bases trump Altuve by one in that category, the Dodgers second baseman trails the Astros second baseman by 25 base hits through Wednesday's action.
For further comparison, Altuve actually boasts a higher success rate on the basepaths than Gordon, successfully stealing 93 percent of the time. He's remarkably only been caught three times this year.
Meanwhile, Gordon has converted 42 of his 51 stolen-base attempts for a success rate of 82 percent.
Both players will be headed to the All-Star Game this season as reserves, and both will look to continue serving as catalysts atop their respective teams' orders in the second half.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise specified.
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