Derek Jeter – 3000 Hits – Who’s Next?

Sometime this week, Derek Jeter will become a member of the 3000 Hit Club. He will become the 28th member of the storied list of players to amass 3000 hits for a career. Even more impressive of a feat is, in this age of free agency, Jeter will join only 13 other players to have 3000 hits for one team. The list includes:

  1. Hank Aaron (Braves)
  2. Craig Biggio (Astros)
  3. George Brett (Royals)
  4. Roberto Clemente (Pirates)
  5. Ty Cobb (Tigers)
  6. Tony Gywnn (Padres)
  7. Al Kaline (Tigers)
  8. Stan Musial (Cardinals)
  9. Willie Mays (Giants)
  10. Cal Ripken (Orioles)
  11. Pete Rose (Reds)
  12. Carl Yastrzemski (Red Sox)
  13. Robin Yount (Brewers)

As for who will be the next member of the club, odds are on Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez (2835) or Omar Vizquel (2823). Despite their age, it is assumed they will both be playing through this year and next. Alex Rodriguez sits at 2733 and another likely candidate is Albert Pujols. Still relatively young at 31, Pujols will hit 2000 hits in the next month. After him, the odds of getting 3000 hits looks slim. Carl Crawford and Miguel Cabrera are still relatively young and have around 1500 hits each. The odds are getting slimmer and slimmer.

Click here for the active leader list – Most of the leaders and are in their late 30s. I don’t see Chipper Jones playing much longer than next year. But, I have been wrong before.

There are several reasons why the 3000 Hit Club will continue to be an elusive club. Players today are better scouted than ever before and there is more technology (computer and video) used to identify weak zones for a hitter. This year (2011) has seen the resurgence of the pitcher. Part of that is due to the fact of scouting, but also that everyone is throwing some serious heat (90-95). Also, Sports Illustrated recently published an article about the upsurge of the use of the fastball cutter. It is almost as if 1968 has returned and the era of steroids has passed into oblivion. Only a few dinosaurs remain.

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