The hype around Derek Jeter getting his 3,000th hit is starting to ramp up.
Rightfully so, 3,000 hits is a statistical milestone that will validate a great career by Jeter. Everyone is happy for him, even most Boston Red Sox fans.
Despite all the goodwill that he truly deserves, the media attention given to anything Jeter does can be overwhelming sometimes.
So if you’re already tired of hearing all about Derek Jeter and his upcoming coronation, here is a list of five Red Sox players who have milestones of their own that are in reach during the 2011 season.
Current Total: 187
Varitek was a stalwart of the Red Sox lineup for years.
His skills have diminished in these last few years, especially his power numbers, but he’s so close to 200 that he could get it done this season.
He already has five long balls so far in 2011, so we know that he can still get the ball out of the yard. If his playing time goes up, which is a definite possibility with the inconsistency of Jared Saltalamacchia, then he could get to 200 homeruns.
Current Total: 1430
JD Drew is always a controversial player for Red Sox fans.
He can be frustrating because we know he gets his hits, it’s just that he never seems to get them when we really need them.
But the numbers don’t lie, and Drew is quickly coming up on his 1500th hit in the major leagues.
His steady swing and calm approach at the plate have produced plenty of results in the hits department throughout the years, and he should get to 1500 this season with the Red Sox.
Now we just have to hope that he gets a few with runners in scoring position.
Current Total: 72
Everyone’s favorite balding 27-year-old, Dustin Pedroia, has made a career out of annoying the other teams in the American League.
Not the fastest guy on the field, and certainly not the biggest or strongest, Pedroia gets the job done by determination and smart play.
Nowhere is this more evident then when he is on the base paths. He picks his spots, for sure, but when he takes off, he gets there. He currently has 72 steals in his major league career, and has only been caught stealing on 15 occasions.
He should get some more opportunities to steal bases in the second half of 2011 to get his career total to 100.
Current Total: 467
Scheduled to be a free agent after this season, 2011 may be the last time we see Jonathan Papelbon in a Red Sox uniform.
If that’s the case, then it would be a fitting way for him to go out by getting his 500th strikeout with Boston.
Sox fans have seen Papelbon grow up before our eyes. He’s now one of the best closers in the game.
Seeing him get his 500th save would be like watching your kid get valedictorian of their high school right before they left the nest to go to college.
Current Total: 197
Wakefield has been a mainstay of the Red Sox pitching rotation for almost two decades, so its no surprise that his career win total is starting to get up there.
200 wins is more than a solid number, and with the uncertainty surrounding the Sox rotation, he is likely to get plenty of opportunities in the second half of the season.
Red Sox fans love Wakefield, we’ve seen him on the team so much that he’s starting to feel as comfortable as Fenway itself. It would be great to see such a fan favorite get to 200 wins in a Boston uniform this season.