New years resolutions are great, but Major League milestones – the type that get you etched in the record books for eternity – are even better.
Over at MLB.com, Matt Kelly has rounded up 10 MLB milestones within striking distance for Major League players this upcoming season, and it’s definitely worth a look. Because hey, even if young players are all the rage these days, there are still some wily MLB vets out to steal headlines.
Adrian Beltre and Albert Pujols, for a couple of examples, seek entrance to the 3,000-hit club next season – Beltre is particularly close, with just 58 more hits to go! And as an added bonus, once Beltre reaches 3,000, he will join Wade Boggs and George Brett as the only members of the club to play more than half of their games at third base … just in case you wondered how Beltre’s Hall of Fame resume was shaping up.
And taking it a step further, depending on how those hits come, Beltre could also join Carl Yastrzemski, Stan Musial, and Hank Aaron as the only 3,000-hit club members with 450 home runs and 600 doubles. Wow. Just don’t touch his head when celebrating …
Pujols, on the other hand, needs 175 more hits, which might be a stretch considering he hasn’t reached that total since 2010. Perhaps he can do some extra-credit damage against the Astros, who have allowed the most hits to Pujols throughout his career. An easier milestone for him to reach however, might be the 600 home runs plateau, which he can do with just nine more dingers next season. Pujols hit 15 home runs against AL West opponents in 2016 alone, so this seems entirely within striking distance.
Bartolo Colon, the patron saint of fun baseball, needs 135 strikeouts to become the 33rd member of the 2,500 strikeout club. Once he gets there, he could become the latest to reach 2,500 strikeouts with fewer than 1,000 walks. If Colon reaches this milestone with the Braves, his ninth team, it will break Gaylord Perry’s record of playing for eight teams when he recorded his 2,500 strikeouts.
So, yes, you’re definitely going to want to check out Kelly’s piece over at MLB.com, because there are plenty more milestones to be reached next year. I won’t spoil the records themselves, but suffice it to say Mike Trout, Francisco Rodriguez, Clayton Kershaw, David Wright, Giancarlo Stanton, and Jose Bautista have a chance to go down in the record books – of course, some may fall just short.
What milestones are coming down? Which ones will survive another year? We’ll have to wait and see.
Michael Cerami contributed to this post.