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Monday, March 03, 2014

HHS: Who’s On Deck for 3,000 Hits?

Barring major surprises this year, the 2015 season will begin with no active player owning 3,000 hits. That’s not unusual (see end of post), but it naturally makes us wonder who’ll be the next to that milestone. Who do you think has the best shot at 3,000 hits?

Cabrera, 68%

Miggy ranks 10th all-time in hits through age 30, and 14th in hits through 11 seasons. But he still needs 1,005 hits; and of the nine above Cabrera by age 30, only three got 3,000 (with A-Rod hanging fire). Falling short were Rogers Hornsby, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Medwick and Vada Pinson. Willie Keeler was just 40 hits behind Cabrera at 30, with a 62% estimate, but wound up 68 hits shy; and Edgar Renteria(!) was only 61 behind (45% estimate), but didn’t reach 2,400. A year of 101 hits like Pujols had last year would plunge Miggy’s estimate to 42%.

Beltre, 81%

Surprised? Beltre led the league in hits last year, for the first time. He’s averaged 196 hits the last two years (2nd to Cabrera), and 182 over the last four seasons (4th). Through age 34, his 2,426 hits ranks a modest 28th all-time. But he’s climbed fast the last four years, up from #51 at 30 and #41 at 32, and now sits in good company. Six of the prior 11 men within 60 hits of Beltre at 34 did reach 3,000: Paul Waner (+47), Al Kaline (+20), Rod Carew (-32), Eddie Collins (-44), Willie Mays (-45) and Cal Ripken (-55). For whatever it’s worth, turning the same lens on Pujols (2,347 hits through 33) shows just four of the prior 15 reaching 3,000: Roberto Clemente (+37), Derek Jeter (+9), Pete Rose (-10) and Kaline (-25).

...Besides Cabrera, only four other active players are 32 or under this year and are halfway to 3,000 hits:

  Robinson Cano, 1,649 hits through age 30, estimated 35% chance of 3,000. Should he make it, Cano would be the 4th second baseman with 3,000 hits; Craig Biggio was the 3rd, ending a 77-year drought since Eddie Collins retired. By the way, he’s hit .309 in 40 games at Safeco, averaging 190 hits per 162 G.
  Jose Reyes, 1,597 hits through age 30, estimated 13% chance of 3,000. A season of 184 hits (matching 2012, his best of the last 5 years) would raise him to 22%.
  David Wright, 1558 hits through age 30, estimated 9% chance of 3,000. A season of 178 hits (matching 2012, his best of the last 5 years) would raise him to 21%. Brett and Boggs are the only career third-sackers with 3,000 hits.
  Carl Crawford, 1,765 hits through age 31, no estimated chance of 3,000. Three years ago, Crawford rated a 30% shot. Now, even a return to 185 hits (his best of the last 5 years) would only restore him to 16%.

Thanks to Edilio.

Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:55 AM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4665242)
With a 10 year contract, Cano will have every chance to reach 3,000 -- he only needs 135 hits a season.
   2. jdennis Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4665246)
Obviously the CAT has a large error rate, but I wonder why the writer never mentioned that in the olden days, 3000 hits wasn't a clear benchmark like it is now, so people didn't stick around just to get it like they do in modern times - to cite a couple of examples, in the olden days Boggs, Biggio, and Henderson wouldn't have made it to 3000. Rice, Keeler, Beckley, Hornsby, Ott, Foxx, Medwick - notice how many of those are noted as people who dropped Cabrera's percentage.
   3. BDC Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4665247)
Trivia: who's the only active player, 27 or younger in 2013, with over 1,000 career hits? In fact he has 1,124 and is way ahead of any player his age or younger, the 2nd-place guy on the list having 886 hits (albeit through age 25).
   4. JJ1986 Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4665251)
I guessed Justin Upton, who is the second place guy.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4665252)
Evan Longoria?

EDIT: Oh wow, I should have gotten that.
   6. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4665255)
Billy Butler?

edit: Haha, I guess that must be correct in light of #5 :)
   7. BDC Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4665260)
Butler, indeed. I would not have guessed that. The top ten:

Player                H Born   Age   PA   BA
Billy Butler       1124 1986 21
-27 4208 .298
Justin Upton        886 1987 19
-25 3673 .275
Andrew McCutchen    814 1986 22
-26 3171 .296
Elvis Andrus        796 1988 20
-24 3289 .274
Pablo Sandoval      782 1986 21
-26 2895 .298
Jay Bruce           780 1987 21
-26 3406 .257
Starlin Castro      692 1990 20
-23 2617 .283
Austin Jackson      641 1987 23
-26 2574 .278
Gerardo Parra       623 1987 22
-26 2470 .277
Alcides Escobar     617 1986 21
-26 2578 .258 


Castro is impressive. Since 1961, he has the sixth-most hits through age 23, well behind Yount, Griffey Jr., and AROD, but ahead of Roberto Alomar and Miguel Cabrera. Of course, whether he'll rebound from last year is an open question.
   8. DL from MN Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4665271)
Beltre has a shot because his glove is still pretty good. That will keep him in the lineup.
   9. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4665273)
You have to keep in mind that Butler's numbers are inflated by all of his infield hits.
   10. DL from MN Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4665279)
If you were asking me about which random players had 3000 hits I would have sworn Hornsby was on the list
   11. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4665288)
Beltre, 81%

Surprised?


Hell no. I've been saying for three years that Beltre had a great chance to get to 3,000 hits. He has everything going for him - he started obscenely (and, for that matter, illegally) early, he's still got a plus-glove with the chance to move down the spectrum and he doesn't walk that much.
   12. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4665295)
I wonder why the writer never mentioned that in the olden days, 3000 hits wasn't a clear benchmark like it is now, so people didn't stick around just to get it like they do in modern times - to cite a couple of examples, in the olden days Boggs, Biggio, and Henderson wouldn't have made it to 3000. Rice, Keeler, Beckley, Hornsby, Ott, Foxx, Medwick - notice how many of those are noted as people who dropped Cabrera's percentage.


Henderson didn't stick around to get 3000 hits; he stuck around because he loved to play baseball. Boggs was still pretty much a league average hitter in his last few years, which puts him way ahead of most of the old-timers you list. The existence of the DH had a lot more to do with his getting to 3000 than the perception of 300 as a clear benchmark worth chasing. With the DH, Keeler and Rice almost certainly make it by virtue of playing a few more games in their last couple of seasons, rather than needing to hang on a few more years. Maybe Hornsby, too. Besides, Rice played until age 44 and Hornsby until 41. Ott completely lost it at age 37; I'm sure there's a story there, but I can't remember it -- maybe a vision thing? Foxx pretty much drank himself out of baseball. Medwick didn't get to 2500. At any rate, I'm not sure how many of those guys can really be said to have fallen short just because they didn't realize it was going to be thought of as a big deal. OTOH, I agree that Biggio wouldn't have made it in days of yore.

   13. BDC Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4665296)
I would have sworn Hornsby

To paraphrase Ichiro, I'm sure Hornsby could have had 3,000 hits if he'd wanted to. I don't think he gave a ####; he had nothing to prove to anybody about his hitting. (It's barely possible he didn't know he was so close, though he was a bit of a stathead (more about racing than baseball, though).

Hornsby wasn't in great physical shape by the 1930s, but I have to think he could have Rosed his way to 3,000 while he was managing the Browns. The Browns were terrible, and nobody in the world would have blamed him for writing Rogers Hornsby in the lineup instead of the clowns he had playing for him. But by his late 30s it was getting harder for him to play a whole game in the field, and he didn't have much of a position anymore.

   14. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4665327)
Beltre, 81%

Surprised?


I don't think anyone who frequents this board was surprised by that. But I imagine a lot of casual fans are surprised.
   15. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4665330)
The Browns were terrible, and nobody in the world would have blamed him for writing Rogers Hornsby in the lineup instead of the clowns he had playing for him.


I'll bet it was pretty funny watching that little car pull up to the locker room door.
   16. Greg K Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4665343)
Billy Butler?

edit: Haha, I guess that must be correct in light of #5 :)

I spent an hour or two last night thinking about Billy Butler.

Among 1B of the last twenty-five years, 11 have a greater than 2:1 ratio of doubles to home runs.

(12 if you include Gregg Jefferies as a 1B). All, but one of them are left-handed hitters (except Jefferies the switch hitter), and almost all of them are quality defenders, except for maybe Hal Morris, or maybe Hatteberg as a converted catcher. Butler is the only right-handed hitter, and is easily the worst defender of the bunch. If you lower the 2B/HR qualifiers you eventually bring in right-handed hitters like Kevin Millar, Jeff Conine, and Mike Sweeney. Butler's kind of a singular player stuck between two types. He doesn't have quite enough power to be the typical right-handed slugging 1B, and he bats the wrong way and fields his position too poorly to be the Lyle Overbay gap power 1B type.

EDIT: Actually, I consider John Olerud to be the prototype for that kind of 1B, but he hit 5 too many HRs (500 2B/ 255 HR) to qualify.
   17. jingoist Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4665345)
If I recall correctly, when the topic of his barely missing the 3000 hit level was raised to Sam Rice long after his retirement he stated that 3000 hits, as a line of demarcation, had little or no meaning per see and that he would have surely signed for another season had it been so.

   18. GregD Posted: March 03, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4665350)
Beyond that I doubt that many people knew how many hits Sam Rice actually had, including Sam Rice. Career stats weren't always easily available, right? Even baseball cards didn't often list career stats until the 50s, right?
   19. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4665365)
Here's the back of one Sam Rice card.

Specializes in two baggers, indeed.

EDIT: Here's his 1933 card.

"And boy, can't he go and get 'em in the outfield!"
   20. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 03, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4665380)
Beyond that I doubt that many people knew how many hits Sam Rice actually had, including Sam Rice.


That was Sam's take. From several sources:


“The truth of the matter is I did not even know how many hits I had. A couple of years after I quit, [Senators owner] Clark Griffith told me about it, and asked me if I’d care to have a comeback with the Senators and pick up those 13 hits. But I was out of shape, and didn’t want to go through all that would have been necessary to make the effort.
   21. GEB4000 Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4665517)
Beltre has three move seasons in Texas and a good glove, so he will have to completely meltdown not to get there.
   22. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4665532)
I spent an hour or two last night thinking about Billy Butler.


We should consider this as a cry for help, right?
   23. John Northey Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4665561)
As to Rickey Henderson, I don't think the era would've made the slightest difference. He was a guy who just loved to play. He reached 3000 on the nose at the end of 2001 and already had the runs scored and walk records but signed up for 2002 anyways (at age 43) and then went to indy ball for 2003 until the Dodgers picked him up. In 2004 and 2005 he kept playing in independent leagues before finally retiring.

In those 2 'bonus' years he had an 86 OPS+, but a 356 OBP with 11-2 SB-CS scoring 47 times in 102 games (306 PA). 0.6 bWAR for those years so he still had value. His only negative WAR season was his first (age 20, 398 PA, 88 OPS+ 33-11 SB-CS with a -14 Rfield costing him a positive season). Still would've loved it if someone signed him up for another year or two...would've been fun to have him in SanFran with Bonds at cleanup if they just didn't play the same position.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4665586)
Apparently this guy isn't counting Carew as a 2B -- which is fine but by that criterion we don't know if Cano is a 2B yet or not either. More likely he just forgot about Carew.
   25. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4665594)
Cano already has 2300 more innings at 2B than Carew did. AFAIK, the Mariners aren't moving him this year, so it seems pretty unlikely that he'll end up with more playing time at another position.
   26. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4665598)
Apparently this guy isn't counting Carew as a 2B -- which is fine but by that criterion we don't know if Cano is a 2B yet or not either. More likely he just forgot about Carew.


Assuming his criterion is which position did he play more games, then it's pretty damn likely that we know Cano is a second baseman. He's already played 220 more games at second than Rodney did, with no signs on the horizon of Robinson getting relocated elsewhere.

Edit: That might be worth a whole case of Coke to cerc.
   27. The Good Face Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4665612)
Beltre has three move seasons in Texas and a good glove, so he will have to completely meltdown not to get there.


Beltre is probably my favorite MLB player and I'd love to see him reach 3000 hits, but he still has almost 600 to go and is entering his age 35 season. That's a lot of hits and he's no spring chicken; I'm not ready to declare it a fait accompli just yet. He starts showing decline this season and then suffers an injury next year... I could easily see how he peters out around 2700-2800.
   28. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4665614)
The kids'll be home for spring break next week, so I actually could use a case of Coke.
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4665620)
Beltre is probably my favorite MLB player and I'd love to see him reach 3000 hits, but he still has almost 600 to go and is entering his age 35 season. That's a lot of hits and he's no spring chicken; I'm not ready to declare it a fait accompli just yet. He starts showing decline this season and then suffers an injury next year... I could easily see how he peters out around 2700-2800.


Yep...think about the conversations we have had in the recent past about Damon, Vizquel and even Renteria... I still think Pujols is pretty much a lock though.
   30. DL from MN Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4665621)
As to Rickey Henderson, I don't think the era would've made the slightest difference.


Pre-1947 might have made a difference
   31. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4665633)
Yep...think about the conversations we have had in the recent past about Damon, Vizquel and even Renteria...


Two of them aren't comparable at all. Renteria was at the edge of usefulness, and petered out 300 hits short of where Beltre is now. Vizquel squeezed every last bit out of his ML career, and was 40 when he was at the same hit level Beltre is now.

Damon's a little closer, but he was still a full year behind, and not as good a player as Beltre is at the same age.

Obviously anything can happen (injury, PED suspension, head-rubbing provoked criminal activity), but Beltre is in about as good a shape as you can be: He'll turn 35 next month, he's playing about as well as ever (having led the league in hits just last year), he's still a positive defensively with room to move down the spectrum, and walks aren't a big part of his profile.

If he stays healthy and wants it, there's no reason to think he won't reach 3,000.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4665644)
Two of them aren't comparable at all. Renteria was at the edge of usefulness, and petered out 300 hits short of where Beltre is now. Vizquel squeezed every last bit out of his ML career, and was 40 when he was at the same hit level Beltre is now.


Renteria had 2000 hits on his age 31 season and was still a valuable starting player. At the time there was plenty of talk about him getting to 3000 hits. He's not a direct comparison to Beltre now, but my point was that we were having discussions with pretty good confidence on his ability to make it. Vizquel not so likely obviously, it was a matter whether he would be able to find a job long enough to make it, but there were discussions that he might be able to do it. Damon is a direct comparison to Beltre of course, but he was never as good of a player as Beltre is (post age 30 season) so it was arguable that we could see the end coming for Damon.

Beltre is pretty close to a lock. If I was a betting man, my money would be on Pujols and Beltre.
   33. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4665651)
He's not a direct comparison to Beltre now, but my point was that we were having discussions with pretty good confidence on his ability to make it.


I don't think there was ever reason to believe Renteria was better than a 50/50 bet to reach it, his fluke age 30 season notwithstanding.

One thousand hits is a long way off, particularly for a guy who didn't really have the bat to play regularly anywhere else when decline set in.
   34. DL from MN Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4665668)
Beltre probably resembles Ron Santo more than any other player except he's aging better.
   35. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 03, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4665683)
braun's 2013 hurt him obviously but at 198 hits per 162 games with good health and performance he has an outside shot.

   36. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4665692)
Obviously a lot can happen but Beltre is a good bet, simply because he's still a very valuable player. Vizquel, Renteria, and Damon were good, but each of them only had one season in their careers better than any of Beltre's last four seasons. And he led the league in hits last year.
   37. jingoist Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4665697)
Curious where BTF posters would rank Beltre as an all-time 3rd-baseman?

I think he has a good chance to be in the conversation about top 10 all time.
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4665700)
jingo

oh sure. he's in the top ten unless someone is putting guys like rose and thome in the top ten which would be kind of silly.

the harder question is scott rolen. rolen deserves a hard look

   39. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4665701)
Curious where BTF posters would rank Beltre as an all-time 3rd-baseman?

I think he has a good chance to be in the conversation about top 10 all time.


BBTF people would put him in top ten right now I imagine.

By career war over 1000 games played at third, more than 60 war.
Rk            Player WAR/pos
                            
1     Alex Rodriguez   116.0
2       Mike Schmidt   106.6
3      Eddie Mathews    96.1
4         Wade Boggs    91.0
5       George Brett    88.4
6      Chipper Jones    85.2
7    Brooks Robinson    78.4
8      Adrian Beltre    70.7
9          Ron Santo    70.6
10       Scott Rolen    69.9
11     Graig Nettles    67.9
12        Buddy Bell    66.0
13         Ken Boyer    62.9
14    Home Run Baker    62.4
15         Sal Bando    61.5 


I imagine that pretty much looks very similar to a top ten list that you would get around here. Maybe remove Arod from that list.

Obviously Schmidt, Mathews, Boggs, Brett and Chipper is the inner circle guys. Beltre is already smack dab in the middle of guys like Rolen, Brooks, Santo etc.
   40. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4665706)
Maybe remove Arod from that list.


or put him on the list but ding him the appropriate Rpos he gets from his SS years.
   41. The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4665717)
In 2008, the Hall of Merit ranked their elected 3B as: Schmidt, Mathews, Brett, Boggs, Home Run Baker, Jud Wilson, Santo, Molitor, D. Allen, Groh, J. Collins, E. Sutton, B. Robinson, Da. Evans, Beckwith, Hack, Nettles, K. Boyer.

If Groh were still 10th, there'd probably be little objection to placing Beltre above him. But the issue is that that list doesn't consider A-Rod, Chipper or Rolen. I don't think comparing Beltre to Santo, Molitor or Allen is a crazy comparison, but I don't think I'd prefer Beltre to them either.

("Solving" the problem by saying that none of A-Rod, Molitor or Allen should be considered 3B would be dissatisfying to me. I mean, I might give you one of them. But you can't IMO ultimately defend defining "historical third baseman" as "a guy who never played anywhere besides 3B.")

The end of the list in #39, BTW, is a bit of an inconvenient truth. Extreme WAR-heads should ponder why they either feel there should be significantly fewer 3B in the HOF than any other position, or why they're not advocating for Nettles, Bell, etc. (As mentioned, Nettles and Boyer are indeed in the HOM, but they haven't exactly become stathead causes celebre.)
   42. Greg K Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4665720)
Curious where BTF posters would rank Beltre as an all-time 3rd-baseman?

I think he has a good chance to be in the conversation about top 10 all time.

Right now I have him as #8 (which I see is where he ranks in that list in #39).

EDIT: I rank A-Rod as a SS, so I guess on that list I'd have him 9. It seems the difference is I have Santo ahead of Beltre (and just ahead of Brooks Robinson too).
   43. Walt Davis Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:27 PM (#4665781)
Beltre probably resembles Ron Santo more than any other player except he's aging better.

Brooks actually, especially prior to Beltre's offensive breakout in his 30s. Santo was a far superior offensive player to Beltre (esp in his prime) but well short of Beltre on defense.

("Solving" the problem by saying that none of A-Rod, Molitor or Allen should be considered 3B would be dissatisfying to me. I mean, I might give you one of them. But you can't IMO ultimately defend defining "historical third baseman" as "a guy who never played anywhere besides 3B.")

Calling Dick Allen a 3B is far worse.

But neither position is necessary or tenable. They were 3B in the seasons in which they were (heavily/primarily) a 3B and were not 3B when they moved to another position. It's pretty simple. You then have to weight peak 3B value and career 3B value in making an all-time list. By all means keep ARod's Yankee years, Molitor's brief time at 3B and Allen's early career.

Allen is just an extreme example. He had only 646 starts at 3B, 4 (very) full seasons. He was a full-time 3B only at ages 22, 23 and 25 (with half-time at 24, 29 and a decent number of starts at 28). Comparing him to guys with 1500, 2000 or more games at 3B without some method of recognizing that reality is silly. It's doubly silly for Allen because he couldn't play the position when he was playing there. Molitor is not much better in terms of starts (<800) but at least seemed to be able to handle the position.

It's just not that hard. Not every player has to be assigned to a single position. It simply reflects baseball reality that some guys move throughout their careers. It simply reflects baseball reality that some players had great careers overall but couldn't hack it at a key defensive position for their entire careers while others could. Why is it hard to acknowledge that Robin Yount had a better career than Ernie Banks but was clearly inferior to Banks as a SS? Why is it hard to acknowledge that Yount's years in CF did not improve his standing on the all-time SS list?

If all of that reality is just too much to cope with then at least assign a player to the lowest rung on the defensive spectrum at which they had significant playing time. They will still receive the Rpos bonus for their years at a tougher position (i.e. a time of their career when they likely could have handled the easier position they are being placed at) rather than pretending that Yount or Banks not only could have continued to play SS but actually did.

   44. Srul Itza Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4665784)
think about the conversations we have had in the recent past about Damon, Vizquel and even Renteria...


The guy I think about is Alomar. At the end of his age 33 season, he had 2,389 hits, coming off a 150 OPS+, a Gold Glove at second base (however undeserved) and 7.3 WAR. There was a lot of talk about how good a shot he had at 3,000 -- and BANG, straight over the cliff.

   45. The District Attorney Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4665786)
#43: When discussing this, I imagine that the competition is between two sets of eight "all-timer" lists. Top 10 lists, let's say... top 10 catchers, top 10 first basemen, and the other six positions.

The first set is based on career stats actually amassed at the position. As such, it largely correlates with the games played leaders list at each position. It does not have players like Stan Musial or Pete Rose on it.

The second set makes admittedly sometimes debatable decisions assigning Musial, Rose, etc. to a specific position, so that they can be part of the rankings.

The first set is a fun novelty, but clearly the second set is the one you want if you want actual lists of all-time greats, right?
   46. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4665787)
Still would've loved it if someone signed him up for another year or two...would've been fun to have him in SanFran with Bonds at cleanup if they just didn't play the same position.


In wonderful Rickey form, he was quite public in his dismay that the Yankees were running Tony Womack out there, yet Rickey couldn't find a job.
   47. JE (Jason) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:12 PM (#4665795)
What are the odds that Mike Trout surpasses Pete Rose before he's 29?
   48. BDC Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4665799)
Wow - of the list in #39, I've seen all but 2 play on TV and 7 or 8 in person, several of them many, many times. Probably can't say that of a top 15 at any other position, even given that expansion skews such lists to players since 1961. And even though I'm getting old :)
   49. DL from MN Posted: March 03, 2014 at 11:48 PM (#4665825)
In 2008, the Hall of Merit ranked


Thanks for reminding me. I'll put it on the 2018 to-do list to re-do the rankings.
   50. Squash Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:08 AM (#4665876)
think about the conversations we have had in the recent past about Damon, Vizquel and even Renteria...


The guy I think about is Alomar. At the end of his age 33 season, he had 2,389 hits, coming off a 150 OPS+, a Gold Glove at second base (however undeserved) and 7.3 WAR. There was a lot of talk about how good a shot he had at 3,000 -- and BANG, straight over the cliff.


Beltre could always fall of a cliff, but the primary difference I would see is position. 3Bs for various reasons don't seem to fall off the proverbial cliff as much as middle infielders do, particularly 2Bs, and since they're generally starting from a higher offensive threshold they can move to 1B or DH in the AL if their defense plummets.

Looking at it again wow, Alomar really did leap over a cliff.

The guy who Beltre reminds me of is Graig Nettles - they're even similar down to their post-30 renaissance. Beltre though looks like he's going to end up as Graig Nettles + more Graig Nettles.

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