Currently historic: New season overview

Welcome back to Currently Historic. This column started last year as an attempt to chronicle historic accomplishments that occurred/might be occurring throughout the baseball season. We tracked a lot of things last year. Some (Joey Votto‘s pursuit of the doubles record, for instance), were derailed by injury or ineffectiveness. Others (Miguel Cabrera‘s Triple Crown) came seemingly out of nowhere to surprise us at the end.

We also track career-long accomplishments, though I tend to limit this to players who are entering/moving up the top-20 lists and/or are approaching pretty round numbers. We saw plenty of that kind of thing, as well.

As we get going, we’ll obviously be looking more at the latter than the former, but once we get a few weeks of baseball in hand, I look forward to finding out which players are really trying to do something special this season. Will someone strike out 300 batters? Hit 60 doubles? Will Cabrera win another Triple Crown? The answer to all of those is almost certainly, no. Happily, however, someone is almost guaranteed to do something special this year. It’s how baseball works.

Chris Jaffe covered some of this in a recent column, but just to remind you, here are the players approaching significant rankings/numbers this season:

Showing up:
Derek Jeter is 16th (10,551) in at-bats and 19th (11,895) in plate appearances. Depending on his health, it’s possible he’ll hit the top 10 in each before the end of the year.

Runs:
Again, Jeter is ranked high here (13th, 1,868) and should move into the top 10. Alex Rodriguez made the top 10 last year, but he’d have to play a lot more than he’s likely to if he wants to pass Stan Musial, who is 51 runs ahead of him, for ninth.

Hits:
I don’t mean to make this the Derek Jeter show, but he’s currently 11th with 3,304. He is a lead-pipe cinch to move up several spots. And, assuming he’s mostly healthy, he should end the season sixth all time with Tris Speaker in his sights.

Total bases:
A-Rod is currently ninth. He has a chance, once he comes back, to move into eighth, but that’s as far as he’s likely to get. Jeter conceivably could enter the top 20 this year.

Singles:
Jeter (again) is poised to move up. He’s currently sixth and should make fifth this year.

Doubles:
Todd Helton needs only four to enter the top 20 (he currently has 570). Bobby Abreu could join that parade if he latches on somewhere.

David Ortiz needs only 18 to reach 500 and is a good bet to do so. Adrian Beltre needs 37, which could happen, but don’t hold your breath.

Home runs:
Albert Pujols has 475, and so 500 seems like a very safe bet. If he can tack 12 more on top of that, he’ll finish the year in the top 20.

It is at least possible that A-Rod could pass Willie Mays, but 13 home runs seems like a lot more than it did a few years ago for him.

Prince Fielder needs 40 to get to 300. That’s certainly possible.

Extra base hits:
A-Rod should move up the list a bit. He’s currently ninth.

Pujols (995) will join the 1,000 club. Todd Helton (960) might if he stays healthy.

Runs batted in:
If he gets any time at all this year, A-Rod will at least move into 6th place (he’s only one back of Stan Musial).

Pujols (1,434) should get to 1,500.

Strikeouts:
Adam Dunn‘s 2,033 make him fourth all time, but he’s unlikely to pass the next man in line this year as Sammy Sosa is 273 ahead of him.

If Jim Thome catches on somewhere, things could get really interesting, as he’s only 49 away from Reggie Jackson‘s all-time record of 2,597. Of course, he’d probably just be keeping the seat warm for Dunn, who figures to take the crown sometime in 2015.

Jeter will more into the top 20 very soon.

Stolen bases:
Juan Pierre needs only nine to reach 600 and will continue to move up the all-time list. He’ll also likely become the sixth man to be caught stealing 200 times.

Michael Bourn (276) is a good bet to make it to 300.

Showing up:
Mariano Rivera (eighth) should finish as the pitcher with the fourth-most appearances ever.

Andy Pettitte (491) will start his 500th game. Mark Buerhle (396) and Barry Zito (394) will each start his 400th. Roy Halladay and Derek Lowe (377 each), and Bartolo Colon (375) could, as well.

Wins:

Halladay (199), Tim Hudson (197), and CC Sabathia (191) are all good bets to get to 200 wins soon.

Saves:

Joe Nathan (298) will get to 300. Jonathan Papelbon (257) certainly could.

Strikeouts:
A.J. Burnett (1,981) and Ryan Dempster (1,918) should get to 2,000 this year.

Walks:
Pettitte (983) and Dempster (992) will each offer their 1,000th free pass this year.

That’s a good season’s worth of career milestones to track and in-season milestones will show up as we go. As with last year, I need your help. I’m bound to miss stuff, so keep me posted either in the comments or via email with what you think I should be tracking.

Team accomplishments:

Pittsburgh needs 39 wins to reach 10,000.

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Comments

  1. Oh, Beepy said...

    He had a painting commissioned of himself cast as a minotaur to hang above his bed.

    He can be that evil.

  2. RedeNine said...

    As a new reader to the site,im going to enjoy these seasonal updates smile

    Perhaps a few more to follow on the Team Accomplishments?

  3. Greg Simons said...

    Somehow, in spite of all reasoning, I still kinda like A-Rod.  That being said, I don’t want him breaking Gehrig’s record, because I unequivocally like and respect Gehrig.

  4. Jason Linden said...

    I’m kind of with you Greg. Someone should do a novelization of A-Rod’s life. He can’t possibly be as evil as he often portrayed, and he’d make a really interesting character.

  5. Marc Schneider said...

    I always thought of A-Rod as being incredibly insecure, not evil.  He has certainly made his share of mistakes but, considering everything else going on in the world, I wouldn’t put having a painting made of himself as being in the top tier of evil.

  6. Bill said...

    Unfortunately its also not true, but I think I would respect A-Rod more if he had a picture of himself as a Centaur battling himself as a Minotaur above his bed. If your gonna be A-Rod, then go all out and be ALL that A-Rod can be.

  7. northern rebel said...

    The video of A-Roid slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove, and the facial shot of his expression at second base, when the umps ruled him out, should be immortalized, and hung on the ceiling above his bed, so he can be reminded what a spoiled little punk he really is.

    Character? Lack thereof.

  8. rea said...

    3rd person in history to win two triple crowns; first to do it two years in a row.  It could happen . . .

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