Street and Smith used to publish an annual baseball magazine which included a list of approachable milestones for active players. Taking a page from them, as it were, here are some significant stats that the current crop will approach in 2012. (Note: JML stats based on info from JewishMajorLeaguers.org.)
Wins: Jason Marquis enters the season with 104 wins, fourth on the all-time list. He should have no trouble passing Steve Stone (107). Sandy Koufax is next on the climb with 165, which might be out of reach for the injury prone 33-year-old.(BTW, very nice piece on Marquis in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Strikeouts: Marquis would need to add 92 strikeouts to move past Stone’s 1,065 and into third place on that list, too.
Appearances: John Grabow needs 57 games to become tops in that category for pitchers, surpassing Scott Schoenweis’ 562. Problem is, Grabow might not even be on a Major League roster this year; the Dodgers signed him to a minor league contract in December.
ERA: Craig Breslow is third on the ERA list, but it might be a stretch to move up enough to Erskine Mayer’s 2.96, given that Breslow usually faces only a batter or two per appearance.
Hits: Kevin Youkilis (ninth place) needs 73 hits to reach the 1,000 mark. Ryan Braun needs 102. Both are very doable, all things being equal (i.e., no injuries). Al Rosen is in eighth place on the JML hit list with 1,063, with is in reach for both current players. It’s notable that Braun could reach that in just his sixth season.
Batting Average: Braun could easily move past Hank Greenberg to take over the number one spot. Greenberg stands at .313, Braun at .312. Youkilis is eighth on the list with .289 and could move up several spots with a good season.
Home Runs: Braun has averaged 36 round-trippers for his career. If he came do that again — which might be a problem without Prince Fielder to protect him in the lineup — he’ll have 197 and move past Al Rosen’s 192 and into fourth place. If Braun hits 42, he’ll move into third, passing Sid Gordon’s 202. Youkilis has 129 (eighth place) and Ian Kinsler has 124 (ninth).
Runs Batted In: Youkilis is in ninth place with 550 RBIs. Ryan is in tenth place with 531.They could both pass Brad Ausmus (605) and Mike Lieberthal (610) with an average (for them) season.