What Ranger could get to 3000 hits?

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 21: (L-R) Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers, Elvis Andrus #1, Ian Kinsler #5, and Michael Young #10 share a laugh during batting practice ahead of Game Three of the World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 21, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Al Yellon has a post over at Baseball Nation that looks at the top 10 active leaders in hits and talks about which of those players have a chance of getting to 3000 hits, while also looking at the chance of three players outside the top 10 -- Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Starlin Castro.

Yellon works off of Bill James' "Favorite Toy" estimator system, and it inspired me to take a look at what Rangers have a shot at 3000 hits.

The obvious choice is Michael Young. Young, who turned 35 during the playoffs, is sitting at 2061 hits on his career, and his bounce-back 2011 season boosted his chances of getting to 3000 significantly, with the Favorite Toy giving him a 25.7% chance of reaching the milestone. After the 2010 season, the Favorite Toy gave him just a 16.2% chance of getting to 3000, and a repeat of 2011 would be a big boost to his chances.

The less obvious choice is Adrian Beltre. Beltre is 32 years old, and while he isn't a high average hitter -- last year's .296 average was the third-highest of his career, and he has a career .277 batting average -- he's sitting on 2033 hits for his career, just 28 behind Young. Beltre, unlike Young, got an early start to his career -- he was in the majors at age 19, and an every day player at age 20 -- so while he's never had more than 200 hits, and only had more than 166 hits twice, he's been registering a 150 hits per season for a long time. As a result, the Favorite Toy actually gives Beltre a very slight edge over Young when it comes to getting to 3000, at 26.9%.

If we take a step back from what the formula says, and just look at the two players, it is hard to say who has the better shot at reaching 3000. Beltre is two years younger than Young, and has much more defensive value, which should allow him to play for longer than Young. On the other hand, Beltre hits for less average than Young, which means that he gets fewer hits season to season -- Young averages 200 hits per 162 games over his career, while Beltre averages 168 -- and Beltre has missed significant time to injury in two of the last three years.

And the third Ranger who has a shot at 3000 hits? Its probably not who you think. Ian Kinsler has no realistic shot at getting to 3000, due to a relatively late start to his career and a lot of time missed because of injuries. Similarly, Josh Hamilton isn't in the mix...while he's just two years younger than Beltre, he's about 1350 hits behind him.

No, the third Ranger who has a shot at 3000 hits is Elvis Andrus. Yes, the same Elvis Andrus with the career .271 batting average and just 448 career hits. The Favorite Toy gives Andrus a 15.7% chance of getting 3000 hits for his career.

Why? Well, for essentially the same reason Beltre has such a (relatively) good shot right now...he was a major league regular at the age of 20, which gives him a big head start in the race to 3000. Andrus has accumulated a significant number of hits at an age when most players either haven't sniffed the majors, or have had nothing more than a cup of coffee in the bigs. And the Favorite Toy may be underestimating his chances, since like Beltre, Andrus is an excellent defender whose glove could keep him in the big leagues down the road at a time when his bat may no longer be an asset.

Think it is unlikely? Omar Vizquel, who didn't debut until age 22, and who lost time to a demotion in 1990, the strike in 1994, and an injury in 2003, is sitting at 2841 hits right now. Elvis is one of only 34 players since WWII to record at least 400 hits through his age 22 season, and the full list (which I'll share in a table at the end of the post after the jump) is a fascinating collection of players.

Based on the percentages above, there's a 53% chance that at least one of these three will reach the 3000 hit plateau. Which gives me an idea for a poll...which of these three players do you think has the best chance? Cast your vote below, and follow the jump to see the 400+ hit/age 22 club.

Rk Player H From To Age G PA AB R 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Robin Yount 717 1974 1978 18-22 696 2869 2647 306 118 23 26 252 148 8 307 67 34 .271 .308 .362 .671 *6
2 Al Kaline 710 1953 1957 18-22 622 2575 2314 351 103 25 82 365 218 23 200 34 23 .307 .366 .479 .846 *9/87
3 Ken Griffey 652 1989 1992 19-22 578 2422 2165 311 132 12 87 344 222 56 313 60 29 .301 .366 .494 .860 *8/D
4 Alex Rodriguez 648 1994 1998 18-22 513 2271 2070 383 135 11 106 352 154 2 386 97 25 .313 .364 .543 .906 *6/D
5 Vada Pinson 626 1958 1961 19-22 489 2181 2003 359 125 29 57 240 152 7 275 78 29 .313 .362 .489 .851 *8/97
6 Cesar Cedeno 618 1970 1973 19-22 529 2227 2050 320 135 20 64 275 137 19 300 148 49 .301 .348 .480 .828 *8/973
7 Edgar Renteria 611 1996 1999 19-22 547 2395 2150 329 93 10 23 177 179 2 336 126 47 .284 .340 .369 .709 *6
8 Mickey Mantle 561 1951 1954 19-22 511 2203 1894 389 89 27 84 346 299 0 382 25 14 .296 .391 .505 .896 *89/6475
9 Orlando Cepeda 549 1958 1960 20-22 450 1906 1777 261 109 11 76 297 96 26 275 53 26 .309 .347 .511 .858 *37/5
10 Ed Kranepool 543 1962 1967 17-22 648 2364 2157 201 88 13 48 223 167 33 289 6 12 .252 .305 .371 .676 *3/978
11 Hank Aaron 520 1954 1956 20-22 428 1834 1679 269 98 29 66 267 114 11 154 7 7 .310 .354 .521 .874 *97/48
12 Claudell Washington 519 1974 1977 19-22 484 1956 1822 230 85 20 27 217 100 20 326 104 51 .285 .324 .398 .722 798/D
13 Frank Robinson 512 1956 1958 20-22 450 1968 1737 309 81 17 98 241 170 17 267 28 7 .295 .369 .530 .899 *7/835
14 Tony Conigliaro 505 1964 1967 19-22 494 2047 1832 287 79 19 104 294 165 17 364 10 14 .276 .339 .510 .849 *9/78
15 Johnny Bench 502 1967 1970 19-22 486 1963 1787 254 101 8 87 326 139 24 303 12 14 .281 .330 .492 .823 *2/73985
16 Roberto Alomar 497 1988 1990 20-22 448 1959 1754 246 78 12 22 157 148 10 231 90 30 .283 .339 .379 .718 *4/6
17 Bill Mazeroski 486 1956 1959 19-22 516 1989 1841 208 74 20 37 195 99 7 198 5 7 .264 .302 .386 .688 *4
18 Adrian Beltre 464 1998 2001 19-22 493 1918 1718 232 88 11 55 234 159 15 304 46 17 .270 .335 .430 .765 *5/6
19 Miguel Cabrera 459 2003 2005 20-22 405 1716 1530 246 95 6 78 290 157 20 357 6 4 .300 .366 .523 .889 *79/5D
20 Elvis Andrus 448 2009 2011 20-22 443 1880 1655 256 59 14 11 135 160 0 247 102 33 .271 .340 .343 .683 *6/D
21 Bob Bailey 446 1962 1965 19-22 470 1974 1768 226 71 10 34 151 178 4 279 31 32 .252 .322 .361 .683 *5/7689
22 Garry Templeton 443 1976 1978 20-22 361 1544 1481 208 58 33 11 143 44 6 190 73 42 .299 .319 .405 .724 *6
23 Eddie Mathews 441 1952 1954 20-22 440 1875 1583 286 75 17 112 296 271 0 259 17 10 .279 .384 .560 .944 *5/7
24 Rusty Staub 438 1963 1966 19-22 523 2003 1769 172 75 10 41 224 190 30 207 6 2 .248 .321 .371 .692 *93/78
25 Andruw Jones 436 1996 1999 19-22 505 1890 1679 257 93 15 80 257 179 21 368 74 27 .260 .335 .476 .811 *89/7
26 Carl Crawford 429 2002 2004 20-22 366 1611 1515 207 55 34 18 139 70 6 224 123 30 .283 .315 .400 .715 *7/8D
27 Ruben Sierra 426 1986 1988 20-22 427 1775 1640 224 80 16 69 255 105 17 270 41 23 .260 .302 .454 .756 *9/78D
28 Alan Trammell 423 1977 1980 19-22 446 1724 1511 230 46 15 17 149 161 2 186 32 27 .280 .348 .364 .712 *6
29 Ivan Rodriguez 420 1991 1994 19-22 447 1666 1536 175 79 6 37 187 89 10 227 14 11 .273 .315 .405 .720 *2/D
30 Justin Upton 413 2007 2010 19-22 422 1728 1517 226 84 19 60 208 184 18 447 41 17 .272 .352 .471 .824 *9/D
31 Rickey Henderson 410 1979 1981 20-22 355 1613 1365 249 53 14 16 114 215 11 161 189 59 .300 .396 .395 .791 *7/8D9
32 Terry Puhl 410 1977 1979 20-22 366 1584 1414 214 60 15 11 94 136 13 123 72 37 .290 .354 .377 .731 *87/9
33 Ted Simmons 408 1968 1972 18-22 374 1536 1405 163 76 13 26 200 104 16 146 4 8 .290 .339 .419 .757 *2/3
34 Roberto Clemente 404 1955 1957 20-22 382 1548 1468 156 70 25 16 137 54 6 163 8 15 .275 .302 .390 .692 *9/8745
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/4/2012.

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