CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Prospectus Preview: Sa... (04/19)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Can Of Corn: The Surgi... (04/11)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Can Of Corn: Pitching ... (04/24)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction of the Day... (04/19)

April 19, 2008

Can Of Corn

Offensive Milestones in Reach

by Dayn Perry

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Each new season brings us a new batch of individual milestones, and the 2008 campaign will be no exception. With that in mind, let's take a look at which offensive milestones have realistic chances of being met during 2008, and see what sort of entertainment that promises within the season. (Next time out, I'll take a look at the pitching benchmarks that might be reached this year.)

Ken Griffey Jr.
Milestone: 600 home runs
Current Total: 595
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 20

Barring season-ending injury (not an impossibility in his case), Griffey is a lock to become just the sixth player ever with 600 or more spanks. He still flashes occasional power, and he plays his home games in the best home-run park in baseball. Junior will become one of two players (joining Willie Mays) to reach 600 while playing the majority of his games toward the right end of the defensive spectrum.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 90%

Manny Ramirez
Milestone: 500 home runs
Current Total: 493
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 22

Ramirez is hitting like a house afire in 2008, and obviously he's going to get to 500. The PECOTA projection strikes me as too conservative, but that's not terribly important for the purposes of this exercise. Once he gets there, among his fellow members of the 500 home run club just Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx and Barry Bonds will have higher career slugging percentages than Ramirez's .594.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 95%

Gary Sheffield
Milestone: 500 home runs
Current Total: 481
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 15

According to PECOTA, Sheffield won't get there in 2008. He's 40, so it's certainly possible that age-related decline won't permit him to reach 500 this season, but it's worth noting that only once in the past 12 seasons has Sheffield failed to hit at least 21 homers.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 50%

Manny Ramirez
Milestone: 1,000 extra-base hits
Current Total: 989
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 51

Only a season-ending injury could get in the way of Ramirez's reaching this mark. As impressive as his career "triple slash" stats are (.313/.409/.594), he's now racking up the counting numbers in impressive fashion. When the time comes, it'll be interesting to see which self-appointed BBWAA guardians of this or that try to contort themselves around the self-evident fact that this guy's an inner-circle, first-ballot Hall of Famer. "He can't play defense!" "He's weird!"
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 95%

Luis Gonzalez
Milestone: 1,000 extra-base hits
Current Total: 987
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 26

It's been a nifty career, but the only traction Gonzalez will get for the Hall will be among the not insubstantial "but he was a nice guy" voting bloc; he doesn't deserve it on the merits. Still, a nifty career. Anyhow, Gonzalez's prevailing issue when it comes to reaching milestones this season is playing time. He's playing sporadically at the moment, and that figures to continue. Still, the bar is quite low for this one, and even getting only part-time work, he's likely to get there.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 70%

Jeff Kent
Milestone: 1,000 extra-base hits
Current Total: 955
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 44

Like him or not, Kent continues to build his case for the Hall. He's got a career SLG of .504, with 541 doubles and 368 homers. To boot, he's done it all while spending the vast majority of his career in pitchers' environments, and he's spent almost 90 percent of his career defensive innings at an up-the-middle position. As for the benchmark at hand, PECOTA sees his coming short by a single knock, but I think that's underselling him.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 65%

Alex Rodriguez
Milestone: 1,000 extra-base hits
Current Total: 949
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 72

Rodriguez's eclipsing of milestones is about to become a fairly pedestrian occurrence. This time around, it's 1,000 extra-base hits that's within reach, as he needs just 51 to get there. That's a challenging total for some, but, unless Rodriguez uncharacteristically pulls up seriously lame, he'll get there with relative ease.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 90%

Gary Sheffield
Milestone: 1,000 extra-base hits
Current Total: 946
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 36

Belting 36 extra-base hits seems like a very reachable total for a slugger like Sheffield, but questions of age and health complicate matters. PECOTA tabs him for a mere 19 doubles, which seems reasonable considering the doubles-suppressing nature of Comerica. If he hits fewer than 20 doubles, then he's going to have serious problems getting to 54 extra-base hits. I'm with PECOTA on this one.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 30%

Luis Gonzalez
Milestone: 600 doubles
Current Total: 572
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 17

As mentioned above, Gonzalez is no longer an everyday player, and that means it's going to be difficult for him to get 28 more doubles in 2008, particularly in his home park, which cuts down slightly on two-baggers. On the other hand, we're talking about a guy who smacked 52 doubles at the age of 38. If Gonzalez does pull off the unlikely this season, then he'll become just the 15th player ever to get to 600 doubles.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 20%

Frank Thomas
Milestone: 500 doubles
Current Total: 489
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 20

Thomas isn't much of doubles machine these days, but he plays in a great park for them, and he needs just 11 more to get to 500. Barring injury, this one's a lock.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 80%

Manny Ramirez
Milestone: 500 doubles
Current Total: 478
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 29

A right-handed, fly-ball hitter in Fenway playing regularly should never have any problem getting to 30 doubles. Notch another statistical feat for Ramirez.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 80%

Ken Griffey Jr.
Milestone: 500 doubles
Current Total: 476
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 20

As you can see, PECOTA is not optimistic about Griffey's chances here. Sure enough, in four of the last five seasons he's failed to reach the total he'll need. That's mostly because of injury, but injuries have defined decline-phase Junior. However, Griffey is a fairly safe bet to become just the 18th player ever to tally at least 5,000 total bases.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 40%

Garret Anderson
Milestone: 500 doubles
Current Total: 468
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 28

Surprised to see Anderson closing in on 500 doubles? I was, certainly. As a player, Anderson may seem terminally underrated in stathead circles, and I still didn't realize he was this close to joining fairly elite company. It's going to be close, though--he needs 32, PECOTA has him tabbed for 28, and the crowded outfield/DH situation in Anaheim might complicate matters.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 40%

Todd Helton
Milestone: 500 doubles
Current Total: 460
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 31

Of Helton's 460 doubles, 213 have come on the road, so he'd likely be chasing this milestone even if he weren't a denizen of Coors Field. Anyhow, take Coors into account in tandem with the fact that Helton has notched at least 40 doubles in each of the last five seasons, and it seems clear to me that PECOTA is giving him short shrift. So bump it up a little, and he's there.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 55%

Jim Thome
Milestone: 1,500 walks
Current Total: 1,463
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 69

Only injury can get in the way the relentlessly patient Thome's reaching 1,500 walks. A mere 17 other players have pulled it off, and of those who are eligible, just Eddie Yost, Darrell Evans and Pete Rose aren't in Cooperstown.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 85%

Gary Sheffield
Milestone: 1,500 walks
Current Total: 1,387
PECOTA's Projected Total for 2008: 53

While a player with Sheffield's discriminating eye is certainly capable of drawing 113 more walks this season, it's also highly unlikely. Sheffield hasn't drawn 100 walks in a season since 2000, and there's no reason to believe that he's going to this year.
Chance of Reaching Milestone: 5%

Related Content:  PECOTA,  Milestones

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Prospectus Preview: Sa... (04/19)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Can Of Corn: The Surgi... (04/11)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Can Of Corn: Pitching ... (04/24)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction of the Day... (04/19)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article What You Need to Know: September 2, 2014
Premium Article The Call-Up: Daniel Norris
Premium Article The Call-Up: Maikel Franco
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bo Gone
The Future
Premium Article The Call-Up: Joc Pederson
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: September 2, 2014

MORE FROM APRIL 19, 2008
Premium Article Transaction of the Day: Evan Longoria
Prospectus Preview: Saturday's Games to Watc...

MORE BY DAYN PERRY
2008-05-10 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The 2008 Cardinals
2008-05-01 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The Envelope, Please
2008-04-24 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Pitching Milestones in Reach
2008-04-19 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Offensive Milestones in Reach
2008-04-11 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The Surging Snakes
2008-04-04 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Mock Blockbuster
2007-03-15 - Premium Article Hope and Faith: How the St. Louis Cardinals ...
More...

MORE CAN OF CORN
2008-05-10 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The 2008 Cardinals
2008-05-01 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The Envelope, Please
2008-04-24 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Pitching Milestones in Reach
2008-04-19 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Offensive Milestones in Reach
2008-04-11 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: The Surging Snakes
2008-04-04 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Mock Blockbuster
2006-02-23 - Can Of Corn: Winners
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2008-04-24 - Premium Article Can Of Corn: Pitching Milestones in Reach