Within reach: A-Rod leads the way to notable milestones

A-Rod has his eye on four career milestones.

Play ball!

As the season gets underway today, several players are on the verge of passing significant individual career milestones in 2011.

Alex Rodriguez has a chance to join some pretty elite company in four categories this season. A-Rod moves into the all-time top 10 in each of these categories with:

  • 346 total bases, moving ahead of Rafael Palmeiro’s 5,388 total;
  • 132 runs scored, passing Lou Gehrig’s 1,888 mark;
  • 73 RBI, leaping by Willie Mays at 1,903; and
  • 42 total bases, surpassing Carl Yastrzemski at 1,157.

Manny Ramirez needs only 36 total bases to surpass Yaz, but A-Rod should get there first. Manny can join him in the top 10 with 65 total bases, which would push him ahead of Frank Robinson, currently in ninth-place at 1,186.

Jim Thome is on the verge of two distinguished marks – one he wants to reach and one he’d rather not. Thome will reach the immortal 600-home-run plateau with 11 more dingers, but he’s also 203 strikeouts away from passing Reggie Jackson as the all-time whiff king.

Derek Jeter needs 74 hits to join the 3,000 club – reachable by the All-Star break. Also, with 678 more at-bats, Jeter surpasses the 10,000 mark; at 10,007, he passes Frank Robinson and moves into the top 25.

Ivan Rodriguez is193 hits shy of joining Jeter at 3,000. Pudge most likely needs two more productive seasons to reach the magic mark. He’ll pass a noticeable milestone, however, in the first few weeks of 2011. Rodriguez enters the season at 2,499 games played and is five games away from passing Babe Ruth at 2,503 to crack the top 50 all-time. Pudge is currently #2 all-time for grounding into double plays. Twenty more and he passes leader Cal Ripken’s mark of 350.

Mariano Rivera needs 43 saves to pass Trevor Hoffman at 601 as the all-time save leader. When Mo finishes 28 more games, he’ll pass Hoffman’s all-time total of 856 games finished.

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