Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jeter's Quest Is Put On Hold

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Derek Jeter's pursuit of 3000 hits has (for now) been put on hold as the Yankees have placed The Captain on the 15-day disabled list. Jeter, who has a strained right calf, is sitting on 2994 hits. Even with the break in the action there's no question Jeter will reach the milestone some time in early July and become the 28th member of the 3000-hit club.

But what about after Jeter? Is there life after Jeter? Who will be next?

Well, let's see--

1. No. 2 on the active list is Ivan Rodriguez with 2835 hits. At 39, Pudge has a semi-decent shot to get to 3000. However, playing for the Washington Nationals in the National League isn't helping his case as he is relegated to being a back-up catcher to Wilson Ramos and isn't getting enough at-bats. I do think he can muster at least 60 to 65 more hits this season, which is the final year of his contract with the Nationals. If he can get a gig in the American League next year and get plenty of at-bats as a DH, then maybe, he can squeeze out the final 100 to 105 hits he'll need for 3000.

2. No. 3 on the active list is Omar Vizquel with 2823 hits. At 44, Vizquel is playing on borrowed time and isn't getting the at-bats he needs to get the remaining 177 hits. He'll end his career hovering around 2900 and that's about it. Vizquel, however, definitely has Hall of Fame numbers for a shortstop, not to mention his 11 Gold Gloves as well. So forget the 3000 hits, Omar-- see you in Cooperstown.

3. No. 4 on the list is Alex Rodriguez with 2737 hits. At 35, A-Rod is a shoo-in. He could conceivably get his 3000th hit by the end of next season, if not, by April 2013 he should have it.

4. No. 5 on the list is Johnny Damon with 2642 hits. At 37, Damon would need 2 more seasons after this year in order to accomplish the milestone. So far he's having a great year with the Tampa Bay Rays which should earn him another one-year (quite possibly 2-year) contract after the season. Damon is still a solid hitter with 71 H, 10 HR, 34 RBI and a .282 BA so far this season. I like Johnny's chances and by September 2013 he'll be knocking on the 3000-hits' door.

So there we have it. After Jeter we have a strong possibility of seeing 3 players reach the milestone in the next two seasons after this year....

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But for now-- Jeter is on the clock!

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