MLB milestones that can be reached

 

 DEREK JETER 3000 HITS

If Derek Jeter avoids injury and any prolonged slumps, then the Yankee captain will make franchise history by mid June with his 3,000th hit. Jeter, who is coming off his least productive season, has gotten off to a 3 for 18 start to the season. Remarkably he will become the first Yankee player to ever reach the 3,000 hit plateau. Another franchise record within reach is games played, as Jeter only needs to play in 100 more games to pass Micky Mantle’s 2,401 mark and become the all time leader in games played as a Yankee. At age 37 he is also under a lot of pressure to prove that last year was just an off-season and not … related to age.

JIM THOME 600 HOMERUNS

One of the most underrated sluggers in the game has been 40 year-old Jim Thome. This 40 year-old, who has never been associated with steroids, has entered the season only 11 homeruns shy of the 600 mark. Thome, who is now a part time player with the Minnesota Twins, is only 20 walks shy of 1,700 and by October should be seventh all time on the list.

SUZUKI 200 HITS

A strong case can be made that Seattle Mariners’ outfielder, Ichiro Suzuki, is the best all time pure hitter in professional baseball. Still going strong in his mid 30’s, Ichiro has a chance of breaking Pete Rose’s record of seasons with 200 or more hits. Rose, who is the all-time hits leader, totaled 10 seasons with 200 or more hits. Meanwhile, Ichiro, who was a star in Japan before coming to North America, is gunning for his 11th 200 hit season. He is also only 750 hits shy of reaching the 3,000 hit plateau.

RIVERA 600TH SAVE

When baseball fans think of New York Yankee reliever, Mariano Riveria, they think of his cool demenour and that cutter he throws to perfection. Now at 41 years of age, Riveria who will be going to the hall of fame, is only 40 saves shy of passing former San Diego Padre/Milwaukee Brewers’, Trevor Hoffman, for the career leader of all time in saves. Hoffman recently retired with 602 saves. “His measurable gun speed is down a little, but the movement on the cutter is still the same,” one NL scout said. “I think he’s throwing more four-seam fastballs than in the past. But hitters think, ‘I’ve got to get ready for the cutter,’ so righties look away, lefties try to shorten up, and then when he throws the four-seamer, they don’t have enough bat to hit it.”

PUJOLS 2,000 HITS AND 450 HOMERUNS

At only 31 years of age St. Louis Cardinals’ first baseman, Albert Pujols, is starting to post some impressive career numbers. Entering the season he was only 96 hits and 41 homeruns shy of becoming only the 32nd player to reach the 2,000 hit, 450 homerun plateau. St. Louis fans will be wondering all year if Pujols will, in fact, stay with the Cardinals beyond the season or test free agency next fall and go elsewhere.

KONERKO& DUNN CHASING DOWN 400 HOMERUNS

There is a chance that the Chicago White Sox might have two sluggers reach the 400 homerun plateau during the same season. First baseman, Paul Konerko, who is coming off a 39 homerun season, is only 35 shy of the magical 400 mark. Meanwhile, his teammate, Adam Dunn, is a little further away, as he needs 46 to reach that milestone.

WAKEFIELD CLOSE TO 200 WINS

Veteran Boston Red Sox’ reliever and former starter, Tim Wakefield, is only seven wins shy of 200 for his career. If … and … when he reaches that mark, he will become only the fifth knuckle ball pitcher to reach that mark. He will join Phil and Joe Niekro, along with Charlie Hough and Ed Cicotte. Heading into the season Wakefield has surrendered 195 homeruns, which means that if he yields five more, then he will become only the 12th pitcher of all time to give up 200 or more homeruns.

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