The 2012 baseball season is upon us, and a popular topic this time of year (and throughout the baseball season) is to talk about records that will never be broken.
However, there are plenty of records that will go down, or at least see today’s star players make huge strides to put themselves among the all-time greats. Although we may not have a Barry Bondsesque home-run chase on the horizon, there will be plenty of career acheivements to keep an eye on this year. Here’s a look at the top 8.
8. Homeruns – ARod passes #5 Griffey (April) and approaches #4 Mays (Sept.)
Other homer headlines – Pujols skyrockets into the top 30 all-time, and Paul Konerko gets #400. In related ARod news, he should also move into top 10 all-time in Runs scored this year and top-6 in RBI’s – ARod has an outside shot of becoming the #1 alltime in RBIs in a few years.
7. Hits - Derek Jeter rises up the charts.
Anyone who wants to question Derek Jeter’s value needs look no further than this: It’s not unreasonable that Derek Jeter could get another 150 hits this year, which would put him just shy of 13th all-time in hits, and just ahead of IronMan Cal Ripken.
6. Hits – Ichiro passes 2,500 hits, enters top #75 all time in just 12 years.
If he has as many hits as he did last year, he’ll have more hits in 12 years than hall-of-fame candidate Tim Raines had in 23 years.
5. Games Played – Omar Vizquel keeps on truckin’ – approaches 3,000 games played.
Take a look at all the players in the top 15 in Games played. All except Vizquel (still playing), Pete Rose (banned), Barry Bonds (eligible next year) and Rusty Staub are in the HOF. That should say something about where Omar will end up one day.
4. Saves – Francisco Cordero enters top 10???
Saves are not really a perfect statistic to read, since they’ve only been around for the last half-century and don’t extend to the beginning of baseball. Still, would you consider Francisco Cordero one of the top 10 closers of all-time? If you measure by saves, he’ll be there by the end of this year.
3. Most franchises played for – 12
Matt Stairs hung up his cleats this year, which means this is Octavio Dotel’s record to lose. Mike Morgan, Stairs and Ron Villone all stalled at 12, so with Dotel at 12 right now, if he gets dealt from the Cardinals he’ll have the record all to himself.
2. Steals/HR’s – Bobby Abreu
No one is coming close to Rickey Henderson’s 1409 steals, but with 16 more HR’s and 7 more steals, Abreu could join an exclusive 300HR/400 Steals career club, which currently only has two members - Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonds.
1. Wins – Roy Halladay – 200.
This should happen in the 2nd half of 2012, as Roy is 12 away. Given that it might be literally forever until we see another 300 game winner, we might as well celebrate this milestone now as a symbol of an amazing career. Tim Hudson also has an outside chance – he’d need 19 wins to get to 200 this year.