Tag: Alex Rodriguez

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees hugs teammate CC Sabathia #52 after hitting a solo home run in the first inning for his 3,000th career hit against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on June 19, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Who will be the next player to join the 3,000-hit club?


Last night, Alex Rodriguez became the 29th player in MLB history to join the 3,000-hit club. He’s the first player to reach the milestone since former teammate Derek Jeter on July 9, 2011.

After Jeter reached 3,000, I attempted to make a guess about who would be next. I went with Rodriguez, but figured he would get there in 2013. I was only off by two years. His hip surgery and year-long PED suspension obviously pushed back that timeline significantly. Still, better late than never. Rodriguez reaching 3,000 hits almost seemed like a longshot a year ago.

Who will be next to reach 3,000 hits? Removing Rodriguez from the mix, here’s the list of the current active leaders in hits (their ages in parentheses):

Ichiro Suzuki (41) – 2,886
Adrian Beltre (36) – 2,657
Albert Pujols (35) – 2,587
Miguel Tejada (41) – 2,407
Torii Hunter (39) – 2,386
Carlos Beltran (38) – 2,373
Jimmy Rollins (36) – 2,353
Miguel Cabrera (32) – 2,268
Aramis Ramirez (37) – 2,230
David Ortiz (39) – 2,211

Not surprisingly, the great majority of these players are toward the end of their respective careers. Tejada is still technically active, but we can effectively scratch him off as a possibility. Similarly, it’s highly unlikely that Ortiz, Ramirez, Rollins, Beltran, and Hunter will get there.

That leaves Suzuki, Beltre, Pujols, and Cabrera as our best options. Suzuki has played well in a part-time role with the Marlins this season, but he has only had 42 hits. Let’s say he can double that the rest of the way. That would put him at 2,928 hits, just 72 away from the milestone. The Marlins have reportedly had internal discussions about bringing Ichiro back for 2016, which makes sense given that they could market his chase. I think he’ll be the next to reach the milestone if he decides to come back.

Beltre and Pujols are both still young enough where 3,000 is within reach. Beltre is currently sidelined with a thumb injury and his .257/.294/.408 batting line isn’t on par with his usual lofty standards, but he likely has some productive seasons left in him and 343 hits doesn’t feel like a stretch here. However, he appears unlikely to get there until at least 2017. Pujols is 413 hits away and while he’s not putting up the monster numbers we saw during his peak with the Cardinals, he’s still very good. Keep in mind that he’s under contract through 2021. Barring injury, he’ll get there eventually.

Cabrera, is the closest thing we have to a lock on this list. He has averaged 191 hits per season since 2004 and has showed no signs of slowing down since his offseason foot surgery, leading the American League in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS this season. He doesn’t turn 33 until next April and appears poised to blow well past 3,000 if he can remain healthy. Still, he wouldn’t figure to get there anytime before 2018.

Where does Alex Rodriguez rank in baseball history?

Alex Rodriguez

Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez slugged a home run for his 3,000th career hit on Friday night, becoming the 29th player to join the elite club. He had just recently joined the 2,000 RBI club and passed Willie Mays for fourth in baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard earlier this season as well.

Rodriguez, a three-time MVP award winner and a 14-time All-Star, is an obvious Hall of Famer on statistics alone, but where does he rank all-time? According to Baseball Reference, Rodriguez has accumulated the 12th-most WAR among position players, trailing Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Collins, and Ted Williams. FanGraphs has him 13th, also behind Lou Gehrig.

Of the 12 batters ahead of Rodriguez, Ruth, Cobb, Speaker, Wagner, Hornsby, Collins, and Gehrig played before integration, which rules them out. Many will interject with, “but A-Rod used performance-enhancing drugs, so he should be ruled out as well.” I’m glad you brought that up. So did Mays and Aaron, as well as fellow Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Mickey Mantle — they used amphetamines. If one invalidates Rodriguez’s place among baseball’s greats, one must do the same for Mays and Aaron and others. Assuming we’re keeping Mays and Aaron, and thus, Rodriguez, we’re dealing with an all-time list of Bonds, Mays, Aaron, Musial, Williams, and Rodriguez.

Musial and Williams played most of their careers before integration, but they should still be penalized for the years played prior to integration. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. Musial accrued 32.6 of his 128.1 WAR in that time, per Baseball Reference. For Williams, it was 45.1 of 128.1. That puts them clearly behind Rodriguez. The ranking then becomes Bonds, Mays, Aaron, and Rodriguez:

  • Bonds: 162.4 WAR
  • Mays: 156.2
  • Aaron: 142.6
  • Rodriguez: 117.5

Personally, I believe more recent eras of baseball to be much tougher than those of the past as athletes are bigger, stronger, and smarter than they’ve ever been, and technology has made it simple for pitchers to research and exploit a hitter’s tendencies. But I don’t think there’s any realistic adjustment for that which would bridge the 25 WAR gap between Rodriguez and Aaron. So, with my methodology, Rodriguez is the fourth-greatest position player in baseball history.

Note: I realize that WAR has many methodological flaws, but it’s the best tool for comparing players across eras. I believe in using imperfect tools than no tools at all.

Alex Rodriguez joins the 3,000-hit club with a home run off of Justin Verlander


Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez joined the 3,000-hit club on Friday night against the Tigers when he hit a Justin Verlander offering to right-center for a solo home run in the first inning. Rodriguez is the 29th player to join the 3,000-hit club and is tied with Roberto Clemente on the all-time leaderboard.

With 61 more hits through the end of the season, Rodriguez could move into 21st all-time with 3,061 hits ahead of Craig Biggio. He would need to get 111 more hits to pass Dave Winfield at #20.

Rodriguez, 39, is batting .281/.386/.521 with 13 home runs and 35 RBI this season. He has 667 home runs and 2,004 RBI in his career spanning 21 seasons.

Alex Rodriguez is just one hit away from 3,000

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 17:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees drives in a run in the first inning against the Miami Marlins during their game at Yankee Stadium on June 17, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

UPDATE: 3,000 hits will likely have to wait until tomorrow. Rodriguez came up second in the bottom of the eighth inning and was walked on four straight inside pitches by Sam Dyson, who clearly didn’t want any part of history. The disappointed fans at Yankee Stadium are letting him hear it.

9:19 p.m. ET: With his first chance at 3,000 hits, Rodriguez just lined out to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning. He could get another at-bat tonight.

8:50 p.m. ET: Rodriguez singled to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning, so he’s now just one hit away from 3,000. He should get at least one more at-bat tonight. Stay tuned.

7:34 p.m. ET: After entering tonight’s game with 2,997 career hits, Alex Rodriguez just drove in Brett Gardner with an RBI single off Mat Latos in the first inning to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead over the Marlins. He’s now just two hits away from becoming the 29th player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits.

Including tonight, the Yankees will play their next seven games at Yankee Stadium, so there’s a good chance he’ll reach the milestone at home. We’ll pass along updates as it happens.

Rodriguez’s former teammate, Derek Jeter, was the last player in MLB to reach 3,000 hits. He got there on July 9, 2011.

Pariah no more! A-Rod was front and center for a big MLB community event

Alex Rodriguez

Today in New York, Major League Baseball announced the launch of the “PLAY BALL” initiative, which is designed to encourage participation in baseball activities among kids. And not just in the form of organized leagues. Sandlot, playing catch, the whole deal. It seems like a pretty cool idea because, as so many have said, if you played baseball as a kid, you’re more likely to be a fan later. The website, linked above, has coaching tips, guides to help parents find community leagues and other information that can make it all easier.

The launch today happened at Heritage Park in New York, where Rob Manfred and members of the Yankees and Marlins — who are in town for an interleague series — were on hand. Included in the group:

Alex Rodriguez: good enough to market a very important Major League Baseball community initiative. I guess he’s officially off the s***-list.