Now it’s time for the current American League leaders to be posted, under the AL logo in the right-hand column of this main page. It features the same batting, pitching, and team categories as the National League column, and like the updated NL numbers, the players listed in the AL haven’t changed all that much, either. Surprisingly, there were quite a bit of ties, which forced me to extend some categories from a five count to a six.
If Angels designated hitter Don Baylor could boost his batting average a bit, he could join LA slugger Reggie Smith in a dual quest for the Triple Crown; Baylor leads the AL in home runs (35) and RBI (98), but his .291 average is sadly nowhere near the Top 5 in that department. Carney Lansford, also of the Angels, is still the front-runner for the AL Rookie of the Year award, batting .327 while leading the league in hits; he’s also third in runs scored, with 78. Seattle Mariners speedster Julio Cruz is still tops in the stolen base department, as he’s been all season, and by the end of July was just seven steals away from tying the AL season record, held by Ty Cobb with 96.
Though Ron Guidry still holds the American League lead in ERA, at 1.34, his 16 wins is now third behind Mike Caldwell and Jon Matlack, both with 18, and Scott McGregor, with 17. Angels strikeout king Nolan Ryan is no surprise as the AL leader in K’s, with 152, but he’s a far cry from the 260 he finished the actual 1978 season with, and which led the AL that year. As for team leaders, check out the Indians, mired in sixth place in the AL East, who lead the league in batting at .291; I guess that gives you a hint as to how their pitching is doing (excluding Rick Waits, of course, whose W-L stands at 16-5 and ERA at 2.53).
With current league leaders now caught up, I’ll now get back to wrapping up the July stats for the remainder of the American League; just four more teams to go, with the A’s due up next.