Baseball BeatOctober 04, 2003
National League "Quad" Leaders
By Rich Lederer

As a follow-up to the American League article, I have prepared lists of those National Leaguers who did the best job of getting on base and accumulating bases (both in terms of the number of times as well as the percentage of times). The four categories of "The Quad" are times on base, on base percentage, total bases, and slugging average.

The leaders are as follows:

Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies led the National League in the number of times on base with 322. Helton also led major league baseball in this category. He had a fantastic season, ranking first in TOB; second in BA (.358), OBP (.458), TB (367), R (135), and BB (111); third in SLG (.630) and OPS (1.088); and sixth in RBI (117). The third or fourth best offensive stats in the league, unadjusted and adjusted.


Rank	Player	        Team	TOB
1       Todd Helton        COL       322
2       Albert Pujols      STL       301
3       Barry Bonds        SF        291
T4      Bobby Abreu        PHI       284
T4      Gary Sheffield     ATL       284
6       Luis Gonzalez      ARI       273
7       Richie Sexson      MIL       272
8       Lance Berkman      HOU       271
9       Jim Thome          PHI       269
10      Jason Kendall      PIT       265

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants led the N.L. in on base percentage with .529, .071 higher than Helton's second place finish and .102 above the A.L. leader. Bonds had another season for the ages, ranking first in OBP, SLG (.749), OPS (1.278), and BB (148); second in HR (45); third in TOB (291) and BA (.341); and sixth in R (111). And to think that Barry did all this playing half of his games at Pac Bell Park rather than Coors Field or some other hitter friendly stadium.


Rank	Player	        Team	OBP
1	Barry Bonds	SF	.529
2	Todd Helton	COL	.458
3	Albert Pujols	STL	.439
4	Brian Giles	SD	.427
5	Larry Walker	COL	.422
6	Gary Sheffield	ATL	.419
7	Lance Berkman	HOU	.412
8	Bobby Abreu	PHI	.409
9	Chipper Jones	ATL	.402
10	Luis Gonzalez	ARI	.402

Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals led the N.L. in total bases with 394. Pujols also led the major leagues in this category. Albert had a great year, ranking first in TB, BA (.359), and R (137); second in TOB (301), SLG (.667), and OPS (1.106); third in OBP (.439); fourth in HR (43); and fifth in RBI (124). First or second on every voter's MVP ballot.


Rank	Player	        Team	TB
1	Albert Pujols	STL	394
2	Todd Helton	COL	367
3	Gary Sheffield	ATL	348
4	Richie Sexson	MIL	332
5	Jim Thome         PHI      331
6	Preston Wilson	COL	322
7	Jeff Bagwell	HOU	317
8	Javy Lopez	ATL	314
9	Luis Gonzalez	ARI	308
10	Jay Payton	COL	307

Bonds not only led the league in on base percentage, but he also finished atop the leaders in slugging average with a mark of .749. Bonds beat out Pujols by .082 and crushed the A.L. leader by a remarkable .149. Barry's rate stats for 2003 place his season among the very best ever. Only Babe Ruth (1920, 1921, and 1923), Ted Williams (1941), and Bonds (2001 and 2002) have had years with a higher OPS than the 1.278 that Barry posted this year.


Rank	Player	        Team	SLG
1	Barry Bonds	SF	.749
2	Albert Pujols	STL	.667
3	Todd Helton	COL	.630
4	Jim Edmonds	STL	.617
5	Gary Sheffield	ATL	.604
6	Jim Thome	         PHI	.573
7	Richard Hidalgo	HOU	.572
8	Sammy Sosa	CHC	.553
9	Richie Sexson	MIL	.548
10	Geoff Jenkins	MIL	.538

Helton, Pujols, and Gary Sheffield are the only three players who finished in the top ten in all four categories, and it should be noted that Helton and Pujols were in the top three across the board. Bonds, Jim Thome, Richie Sexson, and Luis Gonzalez made the top ten three times. As explained in the A.L. Quad article, I would give strong consideration to these seven players in my MVP voting as well as Javy Lopez and Jason Kendall given the difficulty of their positions and perhaps Jim Edmonds and Preston Wilson for their play in center field--the most demanding outfield position. Of these eleven, I would discount Helton, Wilson, and Gonzalez the most for the benefits of their home ballpark.

I will post my top ten for the N.L. MVP (excluding pitchers) on Saturday.