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Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy Can Become 1st Modern Catcher to Lead League in Doubles

Milwaukee Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy, left, hits a three run double as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Drew Butera looks on during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffAugust 19, 2014

Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who hit his 40th double of the season Sunday, has a chance to become the first catcher in the modern era (since 1900) to lead a league in two-baggers, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Lucroy's 40 doubles tie him with Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead, just one ahead of Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (39), who will likely miss the rest of the season because of a fractured hand.

Goldschmidt was previously on track to lead the National League in doubles, as he sat five ahead of Lucroy entering the game in which he suffered his hand injury.

With Goldschmidt out of the picture, Lucroy's primary challengers for the NL lead are Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (35), Washington Nationals outfielder Denard Span (34) and New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (34).

Span seems unlikely to put up much of a fight, as he's averaged just 31 doubles per 162 games throughout his career, in large part because he turns so many would-be two-baggers into triples. Murphy and Freeman are both more in the mold of the classic doubles hitter, though Freeman's 35 two-baggers this year already represent a career high.

Lucroy's 40 doubles mark a surprisingly rare feat for his position, as only two primary catchers have recorded that many in a campaign since 2008. Yadier Molina (44) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (40) both did it last year, meaning no catcher reached 40 doubles in a season during the four-year stretch from 2009 to 2012.

In fact, Lucroy's 40-double campaign is just the fourth by a catcher this millennium, which is perhaps less surprising once you account for the extra rest afforded to backstops in today's game.

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