The legend of the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera, has. He did it in his first at-bat Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park against the Colorado Rockies. Cabrera is the 33rd player in MLB history to reach the holy mark.
This is the first time we’ve seen a player get there since Albert Pujols in 2018 and in fact it was the fourth consecutive season a player got there, after A-Rod in 2015, Ichiro Suzuki in 2016 and Adrián Beltré in 2017. However, he will not start another streak like that. In fact, trying to figure out who might hit 3,000 views next is a tall order.
Robinson Canó is next on the active list with 2,630 hits. He is 39 years old and signed until next season. The best bet is that he will come up short. After that, there is Yadier Molina with 39 years and 2,116 hits, Joey Votto with 38 and 2,035 and those are the only players who exceed 2,000 hits.
So, here are 10 candidates.
Once he was in a much more scorching pace. From 2014-17, Altuve averaged 211 hits per season, leading the league each of the four years. The pandemic-shortened 2020 season hurt, obviously, but Altuve only had 169 hits in 2018, 149 in 2019 and 167 last year. He currently has 1,783 in his 32-year-old season, and is currently on the disabled list. He certainly has a chance, but it doesn’t seem like a decent chance anymore. More than twelve hundred hits in the rest of his career is a difficult task.
Freeman is also 32 and hovering around 1,700, with 1,722. He hasn’t gone down like Altuve has, but his career high for hits in a season is 191 (2018). If he has six full 191-hit seasons left after this year, that brings him to 2,868 plus hits left in 2022. Is that a realistic bet? Let’s say he continues to average 176 hits per 162 games the rest of his career. At that rate, he would reach 3,000 hits after about 7 1/4 more seasons. Once again, he is 32 years old. It would be very difficult, but I think it’s close.
He doesn’t turn 30 until July and he’s nearing the halfway point as he has 1,445 career hits. He has topped 189 hits in a season and that was it when he was 20, but he has topped 180 three times since then. Mind you, he only had 150 hits in 2019 and 157 last year. He will have to get back up to 180 every season to have a good chance.
Injuries and the pandemic derailed him. Trout is now 30 years old and has 1,428 views. He had 182 hits in 2012 and 190 in 2013 before three straight years in the low 170s. He then went 123, 147 and 137, respectively, before 2020 and was just 39 when he closed out last season. He will surely be able to play until he is 40 years old, but he is not even halfway there. He’ll have to get close to 200 hits several times over the next few years before he’s a serious contender.
Will he get enough pitches? Harper led the majors in walks in both 2018 and 2020. He walked 99 times in 2019 and 100 times last season. That leaves him under 1,300 hits (1,286) despite being close in age to Machado at 29. Harper’s career high for hits is 172, but his second-highest total came last season with 151. Even with him probably playing at a high level in his 30s, he’s not on pace.
He’s also 29 years old and trailing a bit behind Harper with 1,259 hits. However, he is capable of a higher pace, as Bogaerts has amassed at least 190 hits in three different seasons. He has batting average and early debut, but does he have the required longevity? Even when he gets to 1,300 hits, that’s only 43.3 percent of the way to 3,000.
As someone who debuted very young and has a lot of plate appearances, he fits the profile of a player who could rack up hits. Albies has had at least 684 plate appearances in each of his three full seasons. He is still only 25 years old. Of course, he still only has 627 hits, which is a little more than 20 percent of the way to 3,000. He has a base, but he very much needs to break well.
He is also 25 years old and has 615 hits. And while we often think of 3,000-hit players as stringing together 200-hit seasons, Miguel Cabrera only has one of those. Devers already has one, as he had 201 hits in 2019. If he can get close to 1,000 hits by the end of his 27-year-old season, we’ve got a great candidate here. He is certainly one to watch.
Although it seems like he’s been around a long time, Soto is still just 23 years. We can’t be sure of his longevity, but there’s every reason to believe Soto ages well and is one of the best hitters in baseball for at least another decade. Pete Rose only had 309 career hits from him during his 23-year-old season. Soto already has 500, exactly 1/6 of the way to 3,000. Still, Cabrera might be a better comparison and had 654 hits during his 23-year-old season. Soto should finish almost at that stage, barring injury, this season. On the other hand, his two full seasons saw him amass just 153 and 157 hits, respectively, and part of that is how often he walks. His hit average in 162 games is 169. He would need about 18 full seasons (all 162 games) to get to 3,000 at that rate.
He only has 388 career hits right now, so he’s got more than a decade to think about it. He is also a generational talent with the bat and he is only 23 years old. It’s reasonable to think that one day he’ll have a chance and if he could bet on 2,000 hits, I’d take over in a heartbeat. He had 188 hits last season. Ten more of those and he’s a serious contender for 3,000.
The Canadian News
Canada’s largets news curation site with over 20+ agency partners