Miguel Cabrera (34), 2,605: Cabrera needs about 300 more hits than Pujols does, but he has the advantage of being three years younger. For a guy who has long been one of baseball’s best hitters, that should be a gettable total. Bill James also puts him at 97 percent.
Might Get There
Robinson Cano (34), 2,311: Cano is the most precariously poised player chasing 3,000. He still needs almost 700 hits and even though he had 195 last year and 101 so far this year, age should eventually begin to slow him. If he remains productive and injury-free, the mark is within reach. Bill James: 59 percent
Unlikely to Get There
Carlos Beltran (40), 2,695: Beltran has a whole lot of hits, but is held back by that other number: 40. Two more full, productive seasons would get him there, but he has talked retirement in recent years, and it is hard to see him hanging around long enough. James rates him at 19 percent.
Matt Holliday (37), 2,065; Jose Reyes (34), 2,051; Victor Martinez (38), 2,019: Congratulations to these players for making it to 2,000. But all of them have only just reached it, and none are full-time players anymore. The Bill James method gives them all a 0 percent chance.
It’s pretty speculative to say that any player with fewer than 2,000 hits will get to 3,000, but a few names stick out as possibilities.
You may not think of Nick Markakis as a 3,000-hit guy, but he has quietly moved to 3 away from 2,000 and at 33 is younger than any of the guys above him on the list. Melky Cabrera is a year younger still and stands at 1,726. Going down to guys in their 20s, Elvis Andrus has amassed 1,383 at age 28.
And then there’s Mike Trout. He hasn’t even gotten to 1,000 yet (989), and a lot could happen to him; longevity is hard to predict. But at age 25, and consistently turning out 170-hit seasons, he could be a dozen years or so away from joining the club.
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