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Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera may have gotten to 3,000 career hits on Saturday afternoon, but it may be several years until somebody else joins this exclusive batting club.
Now that Miguel Cabrera has become the 33rd member of MLB‘s 3,000 hit club, people are beginning to wonder who has the best chance to join the ranks of baseball’s elite down the line.
The Detroit Tigers and Florida Marlins legend was going to get there eventually. People tabbed him as the next most likely 3,000 hit club member in the years following Albert Pujols’ 3,000th hit in 2018. Though five players have achieved this impressive milestone in the last decade (Cabrera, Pujols, Adrian Beltre, Ichiro Suzuki, Alex Rodriguez), it will be a while before No. 34 joins the ranks.
Who has the best shot of getting to 3,000 next? It may be a while.
Miguel Cabrera gets 3,000th hit: What MLB player is next to join the club?
Cabrera and Pujols are two of only five active big leaguers with 2,000 or more hits. The three others with that many are Robinson Cano (2,630), Yadier Molina (2,116) and Joey Votto (2,035). While Cano has an extreme outside shot at it, these three players in question are 39 years old, 39 years old and 38 years old, respectively. Though Cano could do it, he must play into his 40s.
For those with at least 1,500 career hits but not quite 2,000, Elvis Andrus (1,875), Jose Altuve (1,783), Freddie Freeman (1,722) and to some degree Eric Hosmer (1,648) have a shot. All four players are either 32 or 33 years old. Time is on their side, but none can afford an injury-riddled season or two once they get to the middle or back-nine of their 30s. It just might be one of them.
Strictly from an age perspective, it is at least worth monitoring Manny Machado and Mike Trout. Machado is only 29 years old and is rapidly approaching 1,500 career hits with 1,445 already on his resume. Trout is 30 years old and is slightly off Machado’s pace with a career 1,428. Had he not missed most of last season and had a full 162 during the COVID campaign, Trout would have this.
For now, keep an eye on guys like Altuve, Freeman, Machado, Trout and maybe Cano to get it done.