Adrian Beltre is just three hits away from joining the 3,000 hit club. Trivia time, how many members are in that club? The answer, after I show you why Adrian Beltre is awesome.
30. That's less than I was expecting. Of the 30, 25 are in the Hall of Fame. The five that aren't are Pete Rose, Rafael Palmeiro, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Ichiro. So, Beltre is a lock for Cooperstown unless he starts taking steroids, lies in front of Congress, or bets on baseball.
Going back to the 90s, we've had a nice, consistent run of players reaching the milestone.
- 1992: Robin Yount, George Brett
- 1993: Dave Winfield
- 1995: Eddie Murray
- 1996: Paul Molitor
- 1999: Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs (on back-to-back days)
- 2000: Cal Ripken
- 2001: Rickey Henderson
- 2005: Rafael Palmeiro
- 2007: Craig Biggio
- 2011: Derek Jeter
- 2015: Alex Rodriguez
- 2016: Ichiro
At 38, Beltre is still a very productive player (.311/.389/.544). Assuming he plays two more years, he could get to 3,325 hits. That would put him in the top 10 all-time, which is crazy. Collecting hits aren't all that important—Barry Bonds doesn't have 3,000, for instance—but it does show a player's consistency and longevity. Beltre is also just 46 homers away from 500. If he does that, he will join Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, and Alex Rodriguez as the only players to do both.
After Beltre, who's next? Albert Pujols has 2,911, Miguel Cabrera has 2,602, and Robinson Cano has 2,309. I think all three will make it. After that, it's going to be a while; we might have to wait for Trout and Harper.