Welcome to the 2017 Season

As the new season gets underway, a number of players are approaching notable career accomplishments, led by Ranger third baseman Adrian Beltre, just 58 hits shy of 3000 as this season begins.

More after the jump on career milestones and the new season.

My thanks to baseball-reference.com for their milestone tracking tool which I’ve used to research this piece.

In addition to chasing 3000 safeties, Beltre is also only 9 doubles away from 600 for his career and 72 runs shy of 1500. If he reaches all three of those milestones this season, Beltre would join Stan Musial and Ty Cobb as the only players with those career totals plus 1500 RBI through their age 37 season; of the three, Beltre would be the first to also reach 400 home runs at that age. Another season of 100 hits including 20 doubles would make it 19 straight for Beltre, tying him with Tris Speaker and just one behind Eddie Murray for the longest streak of such seasons. Also eyeing a milestone Hit total is Matt Holliday, just 5 away from 2000 and also 5 short of 300 home runs.

A milestone home run total also beckons for Albert Pujols, just 9 shy of 600. With the retirement of Alex Rodriguez, Pujols assumes the mantle of active home run leader, and with a very sizable lead of 135 over Miguel Cabrera in second place (Beltre is just one back of Cabrera). Pujols also has an outside shot at 3000 hits this season, but with 175 to go (a total he last reached 7 years ago), next year is the more probable timeframe for that milestone. Another season of 25 home runs and 95 RBI would be the 16th of Pujols’ career, extending the record he already holds, with A-Rod, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth next at 14 seasons.

A trio of players (Chase UtleyEdwin EncarnacionRyan Braun) and possibly a fourth (David Wright) should reach 1000 RBI this season. Braun should also pass 300 home runs and 500 walks this season, Encarnacion should reach 1500 hits and Utley could surpass 400 doubles and get plunked for a 200th time, extending his lead among active players in the latter category. If he can get healthy (admittedly, a big if), Wright should also reach 400 doubles this season.

Also approaching a doubles milestone is Robinson Cano, just 21 shy of 500. He’s also needs just 22 home runs for 300. If Cano reaches both milestones this season, he would join Jeff Kent and Rogers Hornsby as the only second basemen with those career totals. Nearing 400 doubles is Nick Markakis who should also crest 2000 hits this season; if he stays healthy, a 12th consecutive season of 100 hits and 20 doubles is likely, which would make Markakis the 18th player to start a career with such a streak of seasons (Ian Kinsler could also join that group this season).

A gaggle of players are nearing 500 walks, led by Mike Trout who should become the first player since Rickey Henderson to reach that mark by his age 25 season. Only five others have done so, led by Mickey Mantle who reached 670 walks at that age, almost 50 more than the second place total of Mel Ott.

Already the career strikeout leader through age 22, 23 and 24, Mike Trout should extend that mark to age 25 this season, supplanting current record holder Justin Upton. Upton, for now the career strikeout leader through age 26, 27 and 28, is the youngest player to reach 1000 career strikeouts (at age 27 years, 12 days) and this season should become the youngest to reach 1500 whiffs for his career (likely before his 30th birthday in late August), matching the milestone achieved last season by brother Melvin.

Among a host of players approaching 1000 career strikeouts are Toronto’s catchers, Russell Martin and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, both poised to join only twelve other catchers at that mark. They would be the first pair from that group to be teammates at any point in their careers (Jorge Posada and Ivan Rodriguez both played for the 2008 Yankees but weren’t actually teammates at any point as I-Rod was acquired by New York after Posada suffered a season-ending injury).

Nearing 1000 runs scored are Adrian Gonzalez (who should also pass 2000 hits) and Hanley Ramirez. But, they won’t be the first pair of players having a surname ending in zee to reach that milestone in the same season. That distinction belongs to Keith Hernandez and Jose Cruz, way back in 1987, followed by Luis Gonzalez, Juan Gonzalez and A-Rod in 2003, and Manny Ramirez and I-Rod in 2004.

Needing 12 more stolen bases for 500 is Jose Reyes who should also pass 2000 hits this season. If he reaches those milestones, Reyes will be just the sixth player with those totals plus 1000 runs, 100 home runs and 100 triples, joining Paul MolitorTim RainesLou BrockKenny Lofton and Ty CobbJose Altuve needs one stolen base for 200. If he can swipe 5 before his birthday in early May, he’ll pass Elvis Andrus for the most stolen bases before age 27 by a Venezuelan-born player.

Two Canadians, Russell Martin and Joey Votto, should pass 10,000 putouts for their careers, while Adrian Beltre will likely reach 5000 assists. Beltre is also nearing 300 errors and will likely be the first player active in this century to reach that threshold.

Switching to pitching, Matt Cain and R.A. Dickey should reach 2000 IP this season. If Dickey makes it, he will become, at age 42, the oldest starting pitcher when reaching that threshold (Jeff Fassero also reached 2000 IP at age 42, with about two-thirds of his career games in relief, but almost three-quarters of his innings as a starter).

Clayton KershawMax Scherzer and Jon Lester should all reach 2000 strikeouts this season (as may James Shields if he can make it back to the majors). Kershaw should join Sam McDowell and Sandy Koufax as the only left-handers to reach that threshold before their age 30 season. Lester should also reach 150 wins this season and, barring a 20 win season, he would become just the 11th pitcher (but fourth in 7 years) to win 150 games without a 20 win season over his first 12 seasons,

Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman should both reach 200 saves this season, as may Mark Melancon. Jansen and Chapman would become the 7th and 8th pitchers to reach that threshold before their age 30 seasons, with Chapman being the first left-hander in that group. They would also be the first pitchers in the group with fewer than 50 saves before their age 25 seasons (both had fewer than 40 saves).

What other milestones are you watching for this season?

Leave a Reply

38 Comments on "Welcome to the 2017 Season"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Albanate
Guest

Bartolo Colon needs ten wins to tie Juan Marichal for most wins by a Dominican pitcher, and thirteen wins to pass Denny Martinez for most W’s by a Latin American pitcher.

David P
Guest

Not a milestone but over his past 10 games, dating back to last year, Gary Sanchez has done the following:

2-39, with 1 home run, 3 walks, 15 Ks, and 3 GIDPs. Yep, he has more GIDPs than hits.

Obviously a small sample size but that’s really, really bad. Wonder if teams have figured out his kryptonite?

no statistician but
Guest
Re Sanchez: He’s put the ball in play 11 out of 14 ABs, no walks, one hit as of his third game. Few whiffs, but maybe a lack of patience. Speaking of players who made great starts, then faltered badly, Roy Sievers died April 3. In 1949 he was the first AL ROY, then went into the tank for three years, plus suffering a shoulder injury that prevented him from throwing overhand. Not many phenoms have come back the way he did, setting and resetting the Senator HR record from 24 to 25 to 29 to 42, the pre-Minnesota franchise… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest
Here’s an old post of mine about Roy Sievers. “Gil Coan was involved in one of the most lop-sided trades ever. On 2/18/54 he was traded straight up from the Senators to the Orioles for Roy Sievers. Coan played 3 more years accumulating 464 PA, an OPS+ of 80, 3 HR, 32 RBI and -1.3 WAR. Sievers, on the other hand, fared a bit better. He played until 1965 accumulating 5941 PA, an OPS+ of 131, 283 HR, 948 RBI and 25.2 WAR. He led the AL in HR, RBI and TB in 1957, and his OPS+ of 164 trailed… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Sievers has a lot of notoriety for his exploits for the Senators, but not the case for his teammate Jim Lemon. Yet, the two share the Senator records for most 25 HR seasons (4), and most 30 HR seasons (2, also shared with Killer). The ’59 Senators were the first team with three players (Lemon, Killer, Bob Allison) having 30 home runs and fewer than 150 hits. Only two teams since have also had such a quirky trio: the ’63 Twins (KIller, Allison and Jimmie Hall) and ’92 Tigers (Fielder, Deer, Tettleton). Fourteen players posted those totals in 2016, but… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Markakis peaked at 7.4 BWAR in 2008, when he was 24. Hasn’t been over 2.9 since. His career WAA is 4.6–but he had 5.0 alone in in 2008, so he’s been negative for the balance of his career. And he’s been healthy.
Just idly wondering how many players have that sort of profile.

David P
Guest

Markakis’ league leading WAR in 2008 was the lowest in the AL (non-strike seasons) since Bob Allison in 1963 (also 7.4).

Doug
Guest

The similarity scores for players most similar to Markakis have been declining as his career has progressed. That said, the players most similar to Markakis through age 32 are Cesar Cedeno and Johnny Damon. Futher down the list are Gary Mathews, Al Oliver and Amos Otis who seem (to me) to be closer to the mark.

Paul E
Guest
The b-r similarity scores work to some degree but are kind of useless across eras and, in Markakis’ case – being a corner outfielder, Cedeno and Otis are just different animals as CF’ers from the 70’s. But, at the bat, Damon might be a good fit for era and similar ISO and, w/o looking it up, OPS+. As far as his league-leading WAR in 2008 being relative low over the last 60 years, maybe the steroid testing that began in 2006 effectively reduced usage and, subsequently, cut down on Herculean achievement at the bat . Kind of funny but Markakis… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Zoilo Versalles, who played for 12 years in the majors, had a WAA of 5.1 in 1965 and and a career WAA of -5.0. Bret Boone had a WAA of 6.4 in 2001 and a career WAA of -1.5.

Mike L
Guest

Bret Boone had those three “enhanced” years in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Aggregate 18.9 bWAR, and 11.7 WAA. At ages 32-34.

Paul E
Guest

Bret Boone was interviewed recently and stated that the Jose Canseco spring training story (in one of his books) regarding the conversation at second base when Canseco rolled in with a double was BS. He said it never happened….
Something along the lines of, “Looking big, dude”. To which, per Canseco, Boone responded with index finger to pursed lips, “Shuhhhhsshhh”
But, yeah, Boone sure got significantly better at an odd point in his career

Mike L
Guest

Versalles is such a strange case. His numbers fell off a cliff so rapidly, and at such a young age, that it’s hard to find a comparison to an uninjured player. He had 76 EBH in 1965, in his age 25 season. He managed only 115 in 2189 PA after that. 19 HR in 1965, and a total of 21 after.

Brendan Bingham
Guest

Ryan Howard amassed a total of 7.5 WAA through 2009, his fifth full season, including his MVP season in 2006. He then finished his career with seven straight negative seasons for a career total of -4.9 WAA.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Franchise edition: The Giants will win their 11,000th game this year. The Cubs will, too, with another 89-win season. The Mariners’ 16th win of the year will give them 3000. Those are really the only nice, round numbers of wins. As of this morning (4/5/17), the Angels are only 12 games above .500, while the Braves are only 5. Will they remain winning franchises this year? On the other end, the Blue Jays were only 22 games below .500 entering the year, meaning that a 93-win season will put them on the positive side of .500 for the first time… Read more »
Doug
Guest

Nice add-ons, DD. Thanks.

Kahuna Tuna
Guest
The 2016-17 Padres became the first MLB team ever to lose consecutive Opening Day games by 10 or more runs. Their opponents, the Dodgers, became the second team ever to win consecutive openers by 10+ runs. The other team was the 1902-03 White Sox. The 2003 Mets get a special nod for losing their opener to the Cubs at Shea, 15-2, then traveling to Montréal and obligingly losing the Expos’ home opener, 10-0. Since they usually involve teams’ #1 starting pitchers, Opening Day games are not often decided by 10+ runs. They’ve occurred in only 28 of 1,241 games since… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Vince Velasquez just cracked off the 6th pitching performance in history of no more than 4 IP, with 10 SO.
All in the past 4+ years.

Vince, Jon Gray, Noah Syndergaard, Michael Wacha, Danny Salazar, King Felix.

no statistician but
Guest
I recently commented on Roy Sievers’ death. Now Bob Cerv, a contemporary of his, has also gone to that stadium in the sky. Cerv’s career probably couldn’t happen today, probably couldn’t have happened in many eras. After serving in the Navy in WW II, Bob spent four years at the University of Nebraska, graduating at age 25. He was the first Husker All-American in baseball, and after graduation he immediately went to Triple A Kansas City where he crushed the ball for 2 years, getting a call-up to the Yankees in 1951. The Yankees were awash in outfielders, though, Woodling,… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Bob Cerv was the last Yankee to wear #7 prior to Mickey Mantle.

Mike L
Guest

NSB, great material. Part of why I keep returning.

e pluribus munu
Guest
We were writing about Cerv just the other day, too, in connection with that 22-inning game that completed his Yankee career (which included three stints in pinstripes). I don’t remember Cerv during his first tenure as a Yankee. I became aware of him during that fine ’58 season in KC, and it was precisely for the reason nsb suggests: I remember thinking of him as the only player worth anything on the KC A’s. I became a fan – I thought Cerv was the future of the KS A’s, and I loved the weirdness of thinking that the KC A’s… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Just read on the HHS Twitter account that Cerv is the only MLer with a last name ending in v.

David P
Guest

Cerv probably has the most neutral home/road splits ever.

Home: .275/.339/.481 (.820 total)
Road: .277/.340/.480 (.820 total)

Richard Chester
Guest

Closest I could find to Cerv is Smoky Burgess (2500 PA min.).
Home: .293/.362/.446/.807
Away: .296/.362/.446/.808

Richard Chester
Guest

I should add that there are round-off discrepancies.

no statistician but
Guest

Burgess was also an almost exact contemporary of Cerv, born two years later, made the big-time to stay as a starting but usually platooned catcher in 1951, hung on as a pinch hitter through 1966. He shared duties with a couple of other heavy hitters, Stan Lopata in Philadelphia and Ed Bailey in Cincy and alternated with Hal Smith the lesser for the World Champion Pirates in 1960. Even platooning he managed almost twice as many PAs as Cerv.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Burgess was an unusually productive player, on a per PA basis (perhaps not on a per pound basis). Here is how he stacks up against our last list of post-1900 CoG candidates in terms of WAR per PA (x100, to make the numbers readable): Allen .792 Ramirez .708 Burgess .673 Goslin .668 Nettles .665 Ashburn .653 Winfield .516 Back in 2001, Bill James rated Burgess the 28th best catcher ever, ahead of a couple of HoFers. When I was a short, overweight boy, I loved watching Burgess because he said to me, “You too can play in the Big Leagues,… Read more »
David P
Guest

And Caleb Joseph has failed again! Just came to the plate with runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out, and hit a ground ball to the third baseman.

That’s now 173 straight plate appearances without an RBI.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Congrats to Matt Holliday for having just the 12th searchable 9-inning game with 5 walks and zero runs.

Last done in 2015 by Stephen Souza.
Before that, BarryB and Mark Teixiera did it within 2 days of each other in 2004.

David P
Guest

If you add in PA=5, then Holliday is just the 9th to accomplish the feat. And if you also add in IBB=0, then he’s just the 6th (though I’m not sure how far back IBB data goes).

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Chris Davis is on pace for:

54 HR
72 RBI
252 SO

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Carlos Martinez just walked 4 and struck out 3 in the first inning… on his way to an extraordinary line:

5.1 IP
8 BB
11 SO

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

He also struck out he side in the 2nd, while walking two. His first 8 outs were by SO.

wpDiscuz