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Bauxites don't generally like Michael Young's chances to reach the "magical" 3,000 hit mark.

So who does get 3,000 hits, among active players? Let's start by looking at the Active Top 10.

Ken Griffey Jr. is the active hits leader with 2,763 -- let's just admit it, he doesn't have another 237 base knocks in his future arsenal ...

Derek Jeter (still just 35) is next, 16 hits behind Junior, who he will catch and pass by mid-May. Jeter is a lock to get to 3,000, probably in the first six weeks or so of 2011.

The next three guys listed, Omar Vizquel, Gary Sheffield and Luis Gonzalez, may well all be done playing already, all in the neighborhood of the 2,700-hit plateau. Then comes A-Rod at 2,531 at  age 33 -- the real question might be whether he or Jeter (or both) can make a run at Pete Rose's 4,256.

Of the remaining active players with at least 2,000 hits -- there are 23 such individuals -- there are really only a very few other cases that might be made.

For instance, does Ichiro have another 970 U.S./MLB base hits in his future? Frankly, that shouldn't surprise anyone, though it's probably unlikely.

Then there's Edgar Renteria, who has quietly amassed 2,185 hits at age 32, though not a single player on his BBRef "Most Similar" list even came within shouting distance of 3K career.

Chipper Jones is 37 and needs around 600 hits to get there -- maybe if Atlanta swaps him to an AL team where he can DH for a while ... but of course, that ain't happening.

Vlad Guerrero (2,249 at 34) has demonstrated proneness to injury, while Todd Helton (2,134 at 35) has the benefit of playing in Colorado, but probably won't last another five years, which he'd need to get in range.

Johnny Damon needs 575 hits and is 35. But the fact that he couldn't seem to find a job for the longest time this off-season suggests he won't get the necessary chances he'd need to "go Clemente" on MLB.

The only players on the list who are age 30 or younger and already have at least 1,700 career hits are (no surprise) Albert Pujols (1,717 at 29) and (surprise!) Adrian Beltre (1,700 even at 30). The odds there seem to suggest, in the former case, "If he stays healthy, absolutely and certainly,and in the latter case, "He probably won't stay healthy but even if he does, probably not."

The remaining youngest players on the current Top 100 list -- which concludes with 38-year-old Craig Counsell at 1,129 knocks -- are Mark Teixeira (1,167 at 29), Carl Crawford (1,296 at 27) and Vernon Wells (1,368 at 30).

So who gets to 3,000?
The official Mike Green Batter's Box Projection Meter says "Welcome to the Club (eventually)" to Jeter (who catches Rose), A-Rod (who doesn't), Ichiro!, Pujols and the dark horse, Crawford. Just missing? Helton, Beltre, Teixeira and Renteria, with Chipper Jones another few paces back of that.

So who's missing from this list? Anyone in the current Top 100 strike you as a viable candidate? What about the younger kids who haven't even amassed their first thousand hits yet -- anyone there?

So ... who DOES get to 3,000? | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Glevin - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 01:48 AM EST (#212312) #
Miguel Cabrera has a very legit. shot. He needs 178 hits a year for 10
more years . If he stays at 1B/DH and out of trouble, he should be able
to do that (he had 198 hits last year) without too much difficulty. It's amazing that he's still only 26.
AWeb - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 08:04 AM EST (#212313) #
I don't think Renteria will get the chance to just miss - he's one more bad year from not starting again.

Chipper Jones has a shot, because he has a team that will keep playing him if he's productive. He could play to 42, and despite all of his injuries, he's never not had 100 hits in a year. For Jones, it comes down to whether or not he's able to play well enough to not retire (he's floated the possibility of retirement if he can't be better than last year, a mere 118 OPS+).

Helton just got an extension/deferral of money, and appears to have 4 more years guaranteed with the Rockies, again if he's able to keep playing at a high level. They've already mentioned giving him more rest, but maybe 150 hits/year...yeah, he's still falling short.

I don't think Crawford makes it - he's dependant on his speed/defense to provide high value, which tends to not make it to the mid-30's. Very similar to Damon, although he does have 200 hits on him at the same age.

Jimmy Rollins needs to bounce back to good hitter for a shortstop mode after having a remarkably bad first half last year, but he's over half way.

Guys most punished by taking walks so they have no shot (call it the Ruth/Williams/Bonds club) - Thome, Sheffield (who is the active leader in times on base), Manny Ramirez, Helton, Griffey. 3000 hits for 27 players, which puts only Sheffield in the equivalent top-27 for times on base, with Griffey still having a shot before he stops playing.

Mike Green - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 09:32 AM EST (#212315) #
What kind of soup did you inhale before projecting, Mick?  It's cold and rainy here, so I recommend the mushroom-barley.

I concur with AWeb.  Rollins' reluctance to make any predictions this year is a good sign for him.  In order to make it to 3000, he's going to have develop a bit and that will require some maturity.  You would think that Chipper Jones would be a longshot, but my instinct tells me that he makes it.  A few more seasons in Atlanta, and then he finishes his career as a DH.  Great hitter.

Matthew E - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 09:33 AM EST (#212316) #
I didn't realize Vizquel had so many hits. I wonder what his HoF chances are.
Mike Green - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 10:02 AM EST (#212318) #
Poor.  No one thought of him as a Hall of Famer during his career, and that view is not obviously wrong.

As for the actual merits, he's a slightly lesser version of Luis Aparicio who had a weak case to begin with.  Aparicio got in at a time when the stolen base had a mythology about it, so he was perceived as a better offensive player than he was.  To have a decent case, Vizquel would have to be as good defensively as Ozzie.  The stats don't say he was, and no one at the time thought that he was. 

Ryan Day - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 10:13 AM EST (#212320) #
Vizquel's got 11 Gold Gloves, and didn't he have some streak of most games without an error? Throw in 389 steals and 2704 hits, and he's looking pretty good. He had some very solid years with the bat, played on some very good teams, I wonder if he might benefit from the current steroid backlash - ie. this is a guy who played the game right.

Then again, HOF voters seem pretty fickle about shortstops. It wouldn't surprise me if he stays around long enough for the Veteran's Committee to give him serious consideration.

vw_fan17 - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 11:20 AM EST (#212325) #
Johnny Damon needs 575, and he's never had less than 150 hits in a season, save one (2007, where his OPS was down 100 points, must have been an off year or injuries or something). He bounced back nicely in 2008 and 2009.

150 hits a year means he needs just less than 4 more seasons, and he's 36. He stole 29 bases as recently as 2008 (lifetime 374-96 SB/CS), only 12 in 2009. So, he appears to still have some speed left. If Detroit plays him most of the year this year and he has a good year (175 hits - he had 168 in 2008, so not impossible), he'll only be 400 hits away. Seeing as they're paying him $8MM, they just might. That would mean he only needs 1400 AB (approx) to get to 3000.

My personal opinion is: if 3000 hits means anything to him, he'll get there, unless he absolutely falls off a cliff. His trouble finding employment this offseason was, IMHO, difficulty reading the market (for everyone). I don't think most people believe he's "completely done" as a player - just that he wanted way too much $$$ compared to the market.

Now, if he's like Chipper Jones and says "I want to retire" - wasn't there something about him claiming to have retired for a week, and then coming back, and also saying this offseason he might retire? - then, obviously not.

But, IMHO, if he WANTS 3000 hits (would that put him in the HoF? I have no clue, I don't know enough about that, but I suspect it would put him close), he COULD get 3000 hits. Sign a series of 2-3 million a year contracts with teams needing OF/DH help as well as a decent runner off the bench, and he might be able to find the 1400 or so AB he'd need over the next 3-5 years after this one.. (lifetime .288 BA). I'd take him right now in left over Bautista (vs RHP) or Mencherson. Not that it would be productive for the Jays to hire him, but I'm saying I think he can still play and bring value. If he wants 3000 hits rather than $$$, I'm sure he can contribute with the bat for several years yet.

I think it's more likely that Damon gets to 3000 (if he keeps playing) than Jeter passing Rose..

Glevin - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 01:35 PM EST (#212330) #
"Poor.  No one thought of him as a Hall of Famer during his career, and that view is not obviously wrong."

I actually think Vizquel will get in. The last few years, every announcer has been touting him as a HOF player. he isn't and not even that close in my book, but he's more likely to get in than Trammell.
Mike Green - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 01:58 PM EST (#212331) #
For Vizquel to be in with Trammell out would be similar to choosing Jim Rice over Tim Raines. Wait...
John Northey - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 03:11 PM EST (#212333) #
Voters for the HOF make lots of oddball choices. Why Trammell and Whitaker and Raines and Blyleven are out while Rice and Sutter are in is completely about 'story' not what they did.

So now the writers are working on a Vizquel story (I've been reading them too for the last couple of years) which I figure will get him in while better players are left out.

Frustrating, silly, dumb, but the way it is.
Thomas - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 06:01 PM EST (#212336) #
Poor.  No one thought of him as a Hall of Famer during his career, and that view is not obviously wrong

Mike, I think you've not been reading enough mainstream media articles, because most of the ones I read refer to him as "eventual Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel." One could argue that no one is going to call him "not a Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel", but if they don't believe he's a Hall of Famer, why mention it? Of course, these writers could be analogous to the 30% who insist that Jack Morris or Lee Smith are Hall of Famer and not representative of the view among most baseball writers.

I think Vizquel will get more support than many expect and more support than he should. However, I think people banging the drum in his favour are overlooking how deep the ballot will be when he eventually makes it onto it. It's going to start getting very deep in a couple of years and, while I don't think Vizquel will get completely lost in the shuffle (particularly if voters want to emphasise his "clean" game in contrast to known or suspected steroid users), I do think he'll find it tough to build much momentum in his first few years.
Matthew E - Friday, March 12 2010 @ 06:44 PM EST (#212337) #

Ryan pretty much sums up my argument for Vizquel. I'm willing to put anybody with 3000 hits into the Hall*, and I'm also willing to knock that down to 2500 for a Gold Glove shortstop.

I mean, I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, but at the moment I'd be inclined to vote for him.

*Yes, I know, but I don't want to talk about that guy. Does anybody, really?

So ... who DOES get to 3,000? | 12 comments | Create New Account
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