As the seasons pass by there are a few players out there in Ryan who near the mystical 3000 hit plateau. I will identify those who I think have the best chance of getting to the magical 3000 hits.
- Trenidad Beltran- WASHINGTON AGE: 38 CURRENT hits: 2611
Beltran is the all-time hits leader for Ryan by almost 200 hits. Most likely he will continue to hold this distinction for the next 2 seasons, as long as he plays at least part-time in Washington. Already his best seasons are far behind him and he no longer can be counted on to be the featured hitter. Yet last season he still managed 124 hits batting .274 on the season with limited power. Going into the off season he is a FA. With his declining skills whoever takes him will only be going so to push his hit record forward and not to ask him to guide a team anywhere.
399 hits are too many for Beltran to hope for. Most likely it would take him 4 seasons more to get this goal at his declining pace.
- Casey Kaline- Madison- AGE: 34 Current Hits: 2427
Kaline still is averaging more than 500 abs a season and pushing across no less than 160 hits a season. Dips in homeruns probably show he is starting on his decline, but he still hit over .350 last seasons. Count on him performing well in S15 and getting some interest beyond after his contract expires. Playing his whole career for the offensive minded Madison has ensured he is top of this race.
573 hits at his pace would take 4 seasons. That would make Kaline 38 when he hits the milestone. It is very likely barring injury for him to make this milestone.
- Bob Shaw Monterrey Age: 32 Current Hits: 2352
2 years younger and less than 100 hits behind Kaline for the race to 3000, but durability issues and questions about his makeup predict he will slide very quietly in his pursuit for 3000. He did sign a Christmas extension for 2 season to stay in Monterrey so he will be given an opportunity to add to his total, but don't look for him to move to far beyond 2800 for his career.
648 hits needed and this is probably an impossible goal for Shaw.
- Freddie Reynolds Kansas City Age: 32 Current Hits: 2309
At 32 he has started his decline, but with the right training program and good health Reynolds could make the 300 hit plateaus. As a fulltime starter he has not hit less than 150 hits a season yet and only seems to be getting better. As his power subsides expect his hitting prowess to continue.
691 hits needed. Already Reynolds is the Career Homerun Champ, how much more dominant will his HOF case be when he finishes as the hits career champ as well. He has the potential to break the 3000 hit barrier in 4 seasons if all goes right. Since he is signed through season 18, he will get a good chance to make a move toward that goal.
- Matt Shave Santa Fe Age: 31 Current Hits: 2112
Since breaking onto the scene in S3, Shave has been a hitting machine. He has hit over 200 hits 3 times in his career, including a career best 227 in his first full season. He has excellent makeup which should allow his skills to stay intact through his later years. His endurance has been very sketchy and getting a consistent 500 at bats a season might be tough down the stretch. Signed through next season, he might be the premier free agent in S16.
888 hits needed. Still figure on him realizing 300 by season 19.
- Del Prieto Las Vegas Age: 31 Current Hits: 2078
Been around since S2, Prieto has been the model of consistency. Never hitting more than 183 hits in a season, but never less than 133, Prieto has never dominated the league or stood out. He offers both power and speed so he fits with most any team in the league. So he should not have too much trouble finding work after his contract expires in S15. He has strong durability and good makeup so he should hold up well enough to get to 3000 hits. His health might be a different story already with the longest injury history of any of the aforementioned; he needs to have a great medical staff for him to hope to climb the 3000 hit mountain
922 hits needed. He could make this goal by S20.