So ... who DOES get to 3,000?

Friday, March 12 2010 @ 12:45 AM EST

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

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?