MLB

MLB Predictions: 8 Players Who Could Score the Next 40-Game Hitting Streak

Andy VanfossanContributor IMay 18, 2011

MLB Predictions: 8 Players Who Could Score the Next 40-Game Hitting Streak

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    NEW YORK - MAY 02:  The plaque of Joe DiMaggio is seen in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium prior to the game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox on May 2, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 12-
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak of 56 games is one of the most unbelievable accomplishments in sports.

    There have been only a handful of players who have even cracked the 40 game barrier, let alone 50.

    Baseball has seen a transformation in the offensive game since the early part of the decade. Power numbers are down and pitcher's numbers are better than they were even five years ago.

    This installment will look at the eight players in baseball today who have a chance to hit in 40 games. 56, at this day in age, is a dream, but these players could give it a run.

Albert Pujols

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 17: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a single against the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium on May 17, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Albert Pujols, even though his slow start may not show it, is still the best player in the game.

    He has all the offensive tools to make him a viable candidate to hit in over 40 straight games. He has a career average of .330, and can shoot one through the right side for an easy base hit if need be.

    My first choice.

Ichiro

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    BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 12:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 12, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Ichiro has been a hitting machine since his arrival in the majors 11 years ago.

    He has over 200 hits in each of his 11 seasons and, in 2004, set the single-season record for hits with 262.

    His career batting average is .330, and his ability to hit virtually every pitch in and out of the strike zone and beat out infield hits make him a prime candidate to hit in 40 straight.

Joe Mauer

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 9: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins in the dugout during the seventh inning of their game against the Oakland Athletics on April 9, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Athletics defeated the Twins 1-0. (Photo by Hann
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Joe Mauer is another hitting machine, with a .326 career average.

    Where Ichiro hits a lot of singles, Mauer likes the gaps and has more power. When Mauer is on, he’s a top-three, if not top-two hitter in the majors.

    The problem is his health. He’s won batting titles, an MVP but he’s also on the DL quite a bit.

Joey Votto

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    HOUSTON - MAY 11: First baseman Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds fields a ground ball during  a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 11, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, has progressively improved over his past three years and plays in a hitter’s ball park.

    It’s hard to say he’s a top candidate to hit in 40 simply because of his work so far, but, with a career .317 average, he would have a shot if he got on a roll.

Migeul Cabrera

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    DETROIT, MI - MAY 14:  Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers makes the put out in the third inning at Comerica Park on May 14, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Royals 3-0.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Miguel Cabrera, like the rest of our candidates, is a hitting machine.

    He has racked up 198 hits on two separate occasions (2005 and 2009) and can hit for power. He’s good for 30+ home runs and 120+ RBIs each season, but what makes him a viable candidate is the fact that he has also hit for a career .313 average.

    He has as good as chance as any to crack the 40 game barrier.

Robinson Cano

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    ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 07:  Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees hits a three run triple against the Texas Rangers in the third inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on May 7, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Robinson Cano has quietly put up very impressive hitting numbers over the past two seasons.

    He is often overshadowed by A-Rod and Teixeira in New York, but his game should speak for itself. He finished third in the MVP race last year putting up staggering numbers for a second baseman: .319, 29 home runs and 109 RBIs.

    He also hit 41 doubles and walked 57 times, showing he has a good eye at the plate and isn’t going to get himself out. He will see good pitches to hit and, given his natural hitting ability, he is a viable candidate for a 40 game streak.

Hanley Ramirez

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: Hanley Ramirez #2 of the Florida Marlins looks on from the dugout during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 15, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Hanley Ramirez came into the 2011 season a career .309 hitter. He won the batting title in 2009 with a .342 average showing the guy can hit for average.

    His legs will get him a couple hits here and there throughout a potential streak and with the team that the Marlins are putting around him, he will continue to see pitches that others won't.

Adrain Gonzalez

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    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14:  Adrian Gonzalez #28 of the Boston Red Sox runs the bases after his seventh inning three run home run as Alex Rodiguez #13 of the New York Yankees looks on on May 14, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (P
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Adrian Gonzalez has a .286 career batting average, but that was in Petco Park, a notorious pitcher’s park. A lot of those deep fly balls are home runs at Fenway, thus increasing his hit totals and making him a candidate for a 40 game streak.

    Like Cano, he has a good eye at the plate (119 walks in 2009) but granted, that was with a team that didn’t have any power around him. Gonzalez has as good as chance as any to put together a nice long streak.

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