Last night Garret Anderson became the 89th player in baseball history with 2,500 career hits, which is what happens when you’re a lifetime .295 hitter who rarely takes a walk and have played in 2,145 games.
Anderson has been a solid player for most of his 16 seasons, but a lack of plate discipline and relatively modest power leave him with a career .326 on-base percentage and .465 slugging percentage.
That makes him merely a slightly above average hitter overall, and in fact among all players with 2,500 or more hits Anderson has the seventh-lowest adjusted OPS+ ahead of only five middle infielders, a center fielder, and Bill Buckner:
HITS OPS+ Luis Aparicio 2677 82 Rabbit Maranville 2605 82 Omar Vizquel 2704 83 Doc Cramer 2705 84 Nellie Fox 2663 93 Bill Buckner 2715 99 GARRET ANDERSON 2501 104
Obviously accumulating 2,500 hits is an impressive accomplishment any way you slice it, but doubles and homers are worth more than singles and walks are worth plenty too, which is why focusing on Anderson’s hit total overstates his value quite a bit. Once you account for overall production rather than just “hits” and factor in both position and defensive value, only Buckner has a less-impressive resume for the 2,500-hit club.