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Beltre and the 3,000-Hit Club

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On Sunday, during the fourth inning of a 10-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, Adrian Beltre hit a double down the third-base line to become just the 31st player to reach 3,000 career hits. He is the only player from the Dominican Republic and the fifth player not born in the United States to reach such an amazing feat.

Bill James created a method called “The Favorite Toy” that estimates a player’s chance to both meet career milestones and to break records. It uses the number of additional seasons a player is likely to play, the level of performance he needs in each of those seasons to meet a given milestone, and the rate at which the player has been moving towards the milestone thus far.

At the beginning of this season, per the Bill James Handbook 2017, here were the players who were most likely to reach 3,000 hits:

Player Percent Chance to Reach 3000-Hits
Adrian Beltre 95%
Albert Pujols 83%
Miguel Cabrera 64%
Robinson Cano 51%
Nick Markakis 27%
Jose Altuve 22%
Melky Cabrera 19%
Elvis Andrus 16%

At the end of this season, the above probabilities will be updated for the 2018 Handbook. However, here are the players with the greatest chance to join Beltre in the 3,000-hit club if we assume that players continue to hit at their 2017 season pace for the remainder of this season:

Player Percent Chance to Reach 3000-Hits
Albert Pujols 91%
Miguel Cabrera 66%
Robinson Cano 51%
Jose Altuve 26%
Nick Markakis 24%
Elvis Andrus 21%
Melky Cabrera 19%
Eric Hosmer 19%

While Adrian Beltre is the first player from the Dominican Republic to reach 3,000 hits, he will likely not be alone for long. Albert Pujols currently has a 91 percent chance of joining him. He has 2,918 career hits including his 93 so far this season, so is likely to reach this milestone during the 2018 season.

After Pujols, Miguel Cabrera is the most likely player to reach 3,000 hits with a 66 percent chance. He currently has 2,607 hits and is playing in only his 15th season, as opposed to the 17th for Pujols and 20th for Beltre. His 162-game average for hits of 193 is the highest of the three players. Pujols’ average is 187 and Beltre’s is 175.


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