MLB: Will Derek Jeter Pass Hank Aaron on the All-Time Hit List?

Jim MorisetteCorrespondent IIIApril 24, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18:  Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees singles against the Minnesota Twins during their game on April 18, 2012 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

In a recent Bleacher Report Article, New York Yankees Captain Derek Jeter is a Renaissance Man, I wrote that the seemingly rejuvenated New York Yankee captain is on track to have an enormous year.

With last night’s 4-5 performance versus the Texas Rangers, Jeter is hitting an eye-popping .411 (30 hits in 73 at-bats) with an OPS of 1.080. He also has four home runs and 13 RBI to his credit, along with slugging percentage is .644.

According to ESPN.com projections, Jeter is on pace for 304 hits, with 41 home runs, 132 RBI and 51 doubles this season.

My, how those critics who say Jeter’s best days are behind him have grown silent.

My, how CEOs for those companies who advertise middle-aged men finding their second wind are likely licking their chops to make Jeter their spokesman.

Moving on, with Jeter’s 2012 success albeit early, I got to thinking.

Where will Jeter, who currently has 3,118 hits, end up on the All-Time hits list?

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Earlier conversations, which discussed this almost 38-year-old shortstop in declining terms, had Jeter landing in the 3,400/3,500 hit range.

Considering Jeter’s early-season offensive explosion, I cannot help but argue Jeter will threaten, if not bypass, Hank Aaron (3,771 hits). This would place Jeter third place in all-time hits , behind Ty Cobb (4,191) and Pete Rose (4,256).

To do this, Jeter would have to average 217 hits over the next three years or the more reasonable number of 163 hits over the next four  years to reach this goal. Still, both numbers are very possible, even for a 42-year-old player.

Nature is unpredictable. To pass Aaron, Jeter would have to remain in peak health and be in the lineup consistently. This gets tougher to do as the wear and tear of 162-game seasons weigh on a player.

Yet if there is anyone who can do this, it is Derek Jeter. He realizes his playing window is shrinking. And thus, he is relishing every single at bat he has remaining in his career.

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