MLB: 12 Players Who Should Reach 3,000 Career Hits

Josh SadlockCorrespondent IIIJuly 6, 2011

MLB: 12 Players Who Should Reach 3,000 Career Hits

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    With Derek Jeter about to join the 3,000-hit club, it's time to start speculating on who will join him from the current group of major leaguers.

    These players are already one-third of the way to the magical 3,000-hit mark. It is difficult to predict how players who have less than 1,000 hits will age and almost impossible to guess what players who have just entered the majors will achieve in their careers, but once a player reaches 1,000 hits, it gets a little easier to see how his career could progress.

1. Ivan Rodriguez: 2,842 Career Hits

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    The Nationals catcher sits at 2,842 hits entering yesterday's game. 

    Pudge should reach 2,900 by the end of the year, which would leave him with an attainable 100 hits for the 2012 season. 

    Pudge has stayed healthy, even while continuing to play behind the plate. One more season should not be a problem.

2. Alex Rodriguez: 2,760 Career Hits

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    A-Rod will surpass 2,800 hits by the end of the year. 

    His numbers have tailed off a bit over the past two years, as he has not played as many games due to injuries. 

    The Yankees third baseman should reach 3000 hits early during the 2013 season.

3. Johnny Damon: 2,662 Career Hits

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    The Rays outfielder has seen his power numbers decline but not his average as he has aged. 

    Now 37, Damon will pass 2,700 hits before the end of August. 

    At his current rate, Damon should reach the 3,000-hit mark by the end of 2013.

4. Ichiro-2,342 Career Hits

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    Ichiro's average may be down this year, but the Seattle Mariners hit machine still has 98 hits through 85 games. 

    He has already reached 3,000 hits in his professional career but should be able to reach that number in America alone. 

    He will finish this season with around 2,450 hits. 

    At his current pace of around 200 hits a year, Ichiro should get his 3,000th American hit close to the All-Star break in 2015.

5. Michael Young: 1,958 Career Hits

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    Young is one of the most quietly consistent hitters in the game of baseball and is closing in fast on the 2,000-hit club while having a productive year. 

    He puts up 200-hit seasons without much hype at all and seems unappreciated by the Rangers' front office. Young will probably not reach 3,000 while playing for the Rangers but look for Young to continue hitting no matter where he ends up. 

    Young has not had to deal with injuries in his career, which bodes well for his reaching 3,000.

6. Albert Pujols: 1,978 Career Hits

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    The bump in the road that was the first few months of 2011 aside, Pujols has been the game's most dominant hitter for over a decade. 

    He is durable and will pass 2,000 hits this year. Pujols has the potential to retire as the greatest player in the history of the game. 

    Reaching 3,000 hits is only one accomplishment in the path that will end in Cooperstown for the first baseman. Just hoping he does it all in a Cardinals uniform.

7. Juan Pierre: 1,929 Career Hits

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    The last of the players who will reach 2,000 hits this season, Pierre, is a classic singles hitter.

    He has never hit more than three home runs in a single season, but that has not stopped him from racking up hits. 

    Age does not usually affect this type of player, and Pierre should be able to add a few hundred more hits past 3,000.

8. Carl Crawford-1,544 Career Hits

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    Crawford is already over halfway there in what amounts to around nine full seasons so far.

    This is where the speculation really begins in this list, but Crawford has a good chance to double his career hit total in just over 10 years if he stays healthy.

9. Jose Reyes: 1,243 Career Hits

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    Jose Reyes is only 28 and has flashed his potential for years but has had trouble staying on the field for a whole season. 

    This year, we were finally seeing the complete package, and it is brilliant, but Reyes has injured his hamstring again. 

    I am putting my faith in Reyes' body to stay healthy over the next decade and realize his potential to be as great as Alex Rodriguez says he could be.

10. Robinson Cano: 1,171 Career Hits

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    The Yankees second baseman is one of the sweetest swinging players in the game, and he is only getting better. 

    Cano should have a long productive career and reach 3,000 hits easily.

11. Adrian Gonzalez-1,021 Career Hits

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    In his first year away from the pitcher's paradise known as Petco Park, Gonzalez is proving what many already thought to be true—he is one of the game's best hitters. 

    Playing in a park suited to his swing, Gonzalez should continue to rack up hits in Boston.

12. Joe Mauer: 1,032 Career Hits

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    Mauer, the Twins 184 million dollar man, has struggled with injuries incurred behind the plate. 

    Once Mauer takes a position in the infield, look for him to bounce back. This is a player with multiple batting titles won while dealing with the wear and tear of catching every day. 

    Imagine what he will do when he's rested and fresh.