Upcoming Milestones in MLB and for the Braves….

With all apologies to Bruce Buffer…”Itttt’ssssssss Tiiiiimmmmmeeee!”.

It’s been a while since I last wrote about the Braves. Part of it is because I entered the busy part of my work year, dealing with the IRS on a regular basis. Another reason is that the Braves were making so many moves that it was just too difficult to keep up with the transactions and deal with the IRS. I figured that I would let the beat writers and other journalists cover the day-to-day transactions, and I would do a recap after tax season ended. And once we know who is actually on the team.

In the meantime, I thought I would take a look at some of the career milestones that could be reached in the upcoming season, both for the Braves as well as other MLB players.

BATTING

Hits

Alex Rodriguez needs 61 hits to reach the magical 3,000 number for his career. Say what you will about his PED usage, but the science on whether steroids can actually make one a better hitter is still unsettled. Sure, he may have been able to recover faster and play more often, but, ultimately, he still had to go out and hit the ball. He’s been one of the best in the game of baseball at doing just that.

Rodriguez has averaged 302 ABs over the last 5 seasons, and has hit .269. If he simply maintains his average, he should get his 3,000th hit in June, depending on his playing time. I expect howls of outrage and protest when he does it.

Ichiro Suzuki can reach 3,000 carer hits if he reaches at least 156 hits on the season. Ichiro will be the 4th OF option for the Miami Marlins this season, so it is unlikely that he would reach the ~575 ABs or so he would need to reach 156 hits. At 41, his days as a regular player are probably done, but he could still hang on into 2016 to get the requisite number of hits. While I am not generally a fan of players hanging on for records, I would like to see Ichiro get to 3,000 hits. He joined MLB late, in his age 27 season. He played a very good defensive RF early in his career. He was an on-base machine for a decade. And despite being constantly criticized for not having any skill beyond being a slap singles hitter who could steal a base, he was consistently on base, scoring runs, and, ultimately that’s what the game is all about. Oh…and he was a Hall of Fame caliber player for the Nippon League before ever coming to MLB.

To see how they would compare, below is a list of players with at least 3,000 MLB hits. Only Pete Rose and Derek Jeter are not in the Hall of Fame. Jeter will be, and Rose should be, if he is reinstated. Given their other accomplishments, a very good case could be made for adding Rodriguez and Ichiro to Cooperstown.

Rk Player H G PA AB R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Pete Rose 4256 3562 15890 14053 2165 746 135 160 1314 1566 1143 .303 .375 .409 .784
2 Ty Cobb 4189 3034 13084 11434 2244 724 295 117 1933 1249 681 .366 .433 .512 .945
3 Hank Aaron 3771 3298 13941 12364 2174 624 98 755 2297 1402 1383 .305 .374 .555 .928
4 Stan Musial 3630 3026 12717 10972 1949 725 177 475 1951 1599 696 .331 .417 .559 .976
5 Tris Speaker 3514 2792 11992 10195 1882 792 222 117 1531 1381 394 .345 .428 .500 .928
6 Derek Jeter 3465 2747 12602 11195 1923 544 66 260 1311 1082 1840 .310 .377 .440 .817
7 Carl Yastrzemski 3419 3308 13992 11988 1816 646 59 452 1844 1845 1393 .285 .379 .462 .841
8 Paul Molitor 3319 2683 12167 10835 1782 605 114 234 1307 1094 1244 .306 .369 .448 .817
9 Eddie Collins 3315 2825 12044 9949 1821 438 187 47 1300 1499 468 .333 .424 .429 .853
10 Willie Mays 3283 2992 12496 10881 2062 523 140 660 1903 1464 1526 .302 .384 .557 .941
11 Eddie Murray 3255 3026 12817 11336 1627 560 35 504 1917 1333 1516 .287 .359 .476 .836
12 Cal Ripken 3184 3001 12883 11551 1647 603 44 431 1695 1129 1305 .276 .340 .447 .788
13 George Brett 3154 2707 11625 10349 1583 665 137 317 1596 1096 908 .305 .369 .487 .857
14 Paul Waner 3152 2550 10766 9459 1627 605 191 113 1309 1091 376 .333 .404 .473 .878
15 Robin Yount 3142 2856 12249 11008 1632 583 126 251 1406 966 1350 .285 .342 .430 .772
16 Tony Gwynn 3141 2440 10232 9288 1383 543 85 135 1138 790 434 .338 .388 .459 .847
17 Dave Winfield 3110 2973 12358 11003 1669 540 88 465 1833 1216 1686 .283 .353 .475 .827
18 Craig Biggio 3060 2850 12504 10876 1844 668 55 291 1175 1160 1753 .281 .363 .433 .796
19 Rickey Henderson 3055 3081 13346 10961 2295 510 66 297 1115 2190 1694 .279 .401 .419 .820
20 Rod Carew 3053 2469 10550 9315 1424 445 112 92 1015 1018 1028 .328 .393 .429 .822
21 Lou Brock 3023 2616 11240 10332 1610 486 141 149 900 761 1730 .293 .343 .410 .753
22 Rafael Palmeiro 3020 2831 12046 10472 1663 585 38 569 1835 1353 1348 .288 .371 .515 .885
23 Wade Boggs 3010 2440 10740 9180 1513 578 61 118 1014 1412 745 .328 .415 .443 .858
24 Al Kaline 3007 2834 11596 10116 1622 498 75 399 1582 1277 1020 .297 .376 .480 .855
25 Roberto Clemente 3000 2433 10211 9454 1416 440 166 240 1305 621 1230 .317 .359 .475 .834
Rk Player H G PA AB R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/5/2015.

Other players with potentially reachable career milestones in hits this year are Carl Crawford (needs 132 for 2,000), A.J. Pierzynski (needs 133 for 2,000), Matt Holliday (163 for 2,000), and Robinson Cano (needs 164 for 2,000).

Runs Scored

Rodriguez needs four runs to move into 10th place all time. If he were to score 81 runs this season, he would be only the 8th player all-time to score 2,000 runs in a career.
With 70 runs scored, Albert Pujols can move into the top 50 all-time.

Home Runs

Alex Rodriguez needs seven more home runs to pass Willie Mays and move into fourth place all-time.

The very highly under-rated Adrian Beltre can reach 400 career home runs with just five on the season, putting a milestone number on what many would argue is a Hall of Fame caliber career.

Miguel Cabrera can do the same with 10 home runs.

Former Brave Brian McCann needs one more HR to reach 200 for his career.

Runs Batted In

Yes, him again. Alex Rodriguez needs only 31 RBI to reach 2,000 for his career. He would be only the fourth player to ever reach that figure, the other three being Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Cap Anson.

With 20 RBI, Albert Pujols can tie Chipper Jones for 31st place all-time. With 100 RBI, he can pass Reggie Jackson for 23rd all-time.

With a 94 RBI season, Freddie Freeman can move into 20th place All-time on the Braves’ RBI list, passing Rico Carty.

Doubles

Jimmy Rollins needs 21 doubles to reach 500 for his career.

Torii Hunter needs 24 doubles to reach 500.

With 31 doubles, Carlos Beltran can also reach 500 career doubles.

Stolen Bases

Ichiro needs 13 stolen bases to reach 500 for his MLB career. If he were to reach 3,000 hits and 5oo stolen bases, Ichiro would join Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Paul Molitor, Eddie Collins, Rickey Henderson, and Lou Brock as the only players in history to reach those milestones, and would have done so in by far the fewest number of games and plate appearances than the others listed.

Carl Crawford needs 30 stolen bases to reach 500 in his career.

PITCHING

Wins

Mark Buehrle needs one win to reach 200 career wins. In today’s age of 5-man rotations and specialized relievers, that’s an accomplishment.

Clayton Kershaw (2), Matt Cain (5), Max Scherzer (9), David Price (14), and Johnny Cueto (15) can all reach 100 wins this season.

Strikeouts

CC Sabathia (63) and A.J. Burnett can each reach 2,500 career strikeouts.

Felix Hernandex (49) and Dan Haren (119) are both close to 2,000 career strikeouts.

Saves

Joe Nathan needs to record 24 saves to reach 400 for his career, moving him past Dennis Eckersley for 6th place all-time.

Huston Street needs 25 saves to reach 300.

Craig Kimbrel needs 14 saves to reach 200 for his career.

There are others who have chances at some less notable career achievements, but all the above have had tremendous careers and deserve recognition.

 

About Chris Jervis 66 Articles
Chris Jervis is an accountant in the Atlanta area. He's long had an interest in baseball, and, being a numbers nerd, loves analyzing player performances. He also likes to argue and is kind of an ass.

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