For the fourth year in a row, a player has reached the 3000 hit plateau. Albert Pujols, following Alex Rodriguez in 2015, Ichiro Suzuki in 2016, and Adrian Beltre last year, finally crossed the mark to become the fourth member of the 3000 Hit/600 home run club.
In honor of the occasion, I decided to update something I did back when A-Rod passed the milestone: which other active players have a shot at 3000? It’s a variation on my yearly predictions of which players have the best chances to make the Hall of Fame; I look at the median point of 3000 Hit Club members at each age throughout their careers, then look at how many players historically had that same total of hits or greater, then take a simple percentage to get rough odds of a players’ chances to hold on the rest of the way. For this one, I also did the same thing for the third quartile mark.
I took these measures from age 22 all the way to age 39 to get a full picture of the progression for an average 3000 Hit Club member. It takes an early start (28 of the 32 players to reach the mark debuted at age 22 or younger*) and some amazing peak years, but also good health and longevity; twelve players reached 3000 hits in their age 39 season, and another nine made it even later than that. That’s the type of rarified air we’re dealing with. As such, the odds of players making it are much lower than the ones I get for predicting future Hall of Famers (given that there are a couple hundred in Cooperstown already).
*Paul Waner and Honus Wagner debuted at 23, and Wade Boggs debuted at 24. Ichiro, being a freak of nature, pulled it off despite not playing in the majors until his age 27 season.
So, what does the current crop of talent look like?