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Who will be next to reach 3,000 hits?

Jul 9, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees Getty Images

Derek Jeter just became the 28th member of the 3,000-hit club. He is the first player to reach 3,000 hits since Craig Biggio during the 2007 season.

Now that history has been made, it’s time to wonder who will get there next.

Removing Jeter from the equation, here’s the list of the current active leaders in hits (their ages in parentheses):

Ivan Rodriguez (39) – 2,842

Omar Vizquel (44) – 2,831

Alex Rodriguez (35) – 2,762

Johnny Damon (37) – 2,662

Chipper Jones (39) – 2,565

Vladimir Guerrero (36) – 2,513

Miguel Tejada (37) – 2,353

Bobby Abreu (37) – 2,343

Ichiro Suzuki (37) – 2,343

Todd Helton (37) – 2,319

Edgar Renteria (34) – 2,284

Jim Thome (40) – 2,239

Magglio Ordonez (37) – 2,107

Carlos Lee (35) – 2,057

Orlando Cabrera (36) – 2,020

Scott Rolen (36)  – 2,001

Adrian Beltre (32) – 1,985

Albert Pujols (31) – 1,979

Yes, Pudge is next in line. I briefly went over his case yesterday, but with his career on the decline, he would likely need to hang on for at least a couple more seasons in a backup role to have a realistic chance. I doubt he’ll get there, nor do I think he will be next. You’ll see that Pudge shares a lot in common with many of the names on this list. Not surprisingly, the great majority of them are aging veterans in the twilight of their careers. Even someone like Ichiro, who once looked like a lock, is beginning to show some early signs of decline.

Alex Rodriguez still appears to be the favorite to reach 3,000 hits next, even with today’s news about his knee. We may have to get used to seeing him play 120 games per season, but I think he stands a decent chance of getting there during the 2013 season. 38 more hits in 2011 would put him at 2,800 going into next season.

I wouldn’t rule out Johnny Damon, either. He’s having a resurgent season with the Rays and is currently on pace for 166 hits. That would give him 2,737 hits going into next season. Not impossible. You’ll notice that Albert Pujols is the youngest player on this list. That’s important, even though his numbers have been merely mortal this season. It’s worth noting that Miguel Cabrera, who isn’t on this list, has 1,497 hits at the age of 28. We have to at least take his past drinking and personal problems into account when talking about career longevity, but he’s on pace to charge up this list in future seasons.

  1. johnnyglutes - Jul 9, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Probably his butt buddy A-fraud.

  2. bigtrav425 - Jul 9, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    If he goes to the AL eventually im thinking Todd the man Helton! they guy can flat out hit

    • denverhoopdreams - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      It’s complete ignorance to think Helton would leave Colorado for the AL.. Just saying.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Jul 9, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I see ARod and Johnny, I’m happy.

  4. pestiesti - Jul 9, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Carl Crawford is at 1544 and is only 29.

    • D.J. Short - Jul 9, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      Right. Considered him. Just wonder what will happen when his speed is no longer an asset.

  5. yankeesjetsknicksrangers - Jul 9, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    I think A-Rod and Damon will do it……. and hopefully Chipper as a thank you for torturing the Mets for all those years.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 9, 2011 at 4:42 PM

      I think A-Rod and Damon are the two most probably names…definitely A-Rod, possibly Damon.

      No way could I see Chipper amassing another almost 500 hits with his age and injuries, unless he DH’d in the AL, which is unlikely.

  6. xmatt0926x - Jul 9, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    A-Rod is a mortal lock unless he just flat out has to retire next year due to injuries. We’ve been in the “age of the pitcher” for a couple years now and anyone over the age of 35 knows that baseball never goes too long before “helping” the games overall offense get going. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a juiced ball sooner than later. This may help some of these older guys.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 9, 2011 at 4:43 PM

      I don’t see A-Rod retiring before he gets the all-time HR record, short of him being confined to a wheelchair.

      His ego won’t allow it.

      • FC - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:14 PM

        What would happen first: His reaching the all time HR record or the 3000 hits?

  7. dodger88 - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Of those on the list, A-Rod is the only one I can say with confidence gets to 3,000 hits.

  8. paul621 - Jul 9, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Holy crap, Renteria is only 34?? I could have sworn he was pushing 60.

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 10, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      That made me laugh out loud. Thank you.

  9. docwat - Jul 9, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    I think Ichiro has a really good shot at 3000. He sets goals, and I’d bet 3000 hits is one of them. He takes such good care of himself that the age factor is not as big a deal for him. What he really needs is some decent hitters on the M’s; that would help!

  10. Elwood Larf - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Arod if he stays healthy, then Chipper Jones if he keeps playing.

    On a side note, they should have a special category for players who kept playing ten years after they were useful and then got to 3000–i.e. Pudge Rodriguez and Craig Biggio. Sure, Jeter’s past his prime, but he’s not putting up terrible numbers for a SS, and he’s batted well over .300 as recently as 2009, so it’s not like he’s hanging around playing on whatever fourth-place team thinks he can be useful as a locker-room influence and a famous name to sell a few tickets.

    • cogitobaseballergosum - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      I think it’s a bit unfair to include Biggio as a player “who kept playing ten years after they were useful and then got to 3000″. It was only the last couple of seasons that his production slipped significantly. Nor did he shop himself around to find a team to hang on long enough to reach 3000. He stayed where he had played his whole career, where he was a franchise icon, extremely popular with the fans and his teammates.

  11. kenmorecyclist - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    Ichiro had 0 hits at age 27. Do you believe any of the guys under 30 are going to keep the pace Ichiro set over the past 10 years?

    Alex Rodriguez makes it. Pujols, maybe. I’ll play Devil’s Advocate and say that’s it; 3000 hits is going to go the way of 300 wins, for the next 10+ years.

  12. virusgvr - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:49 AM

    I think If my mother gets out there and try’s, she could make 3,000 in no time at all! Hey-oooooo!!

  13. mkd - Jul 10, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    I think Ichiro has been laser focued on 3000 hits for at least five years now. Even with the down year he’s having (none of his peripherals have changed btw and his line drives are actually up a tick), he’s still on pace for 200+ hits. It’s not unreasonable to see him finishing the years around 2450 which, in a best case scenario, puts him just 2 1/2 seasons away from 3000. Since his 200 hits/season streak has to end sometime though I would reckon it might take a little longer than that, but make no mistake Ichiro is a student of baseball history and fully intends to join the 3000 hits club.

    Now of course you add in his Japanese hits (1278) and I think you start to get at what is really really motivating Ichiro. Because when he gets to 3000, Rose will already be on the rearview mirror.

    • D.J. Short - Jul 10, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      Would love to see it happen. Ichiro has been hitting in a bit of bad luck (for him, anyway).

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