AROUND THE HORN

Cecil Whig - - INSIDEBASEBALL -

With a triple off the right field wall at Coors Field, Ichiro Suzuki be­came just the 30th player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits, and the first to do so as a Mi­ami Marlin. He’s the third player to reach that mark this decade, the other two be­ing the Yan­kees’ Derek Jeter and Alex Ro­driguez. Just two-anda-half months shy of his 43rd birth­day, the for­mer Japanese League star has taken an im­prob­a­ble route to the mile­stone; he didn’t col­lect his first MLB hit un­til 2001, at age 27. A great start in the States helped: In his first four sea­sons, he had more hits in a four-year pe­riod than any player in MLB history. Ichiro says he’d like to play un­til age 50; that seems im­prob­a­ble, but at least an­other year is rea­son­able given his cur­rent bat­ting line (.317/.390/.380) in 95 games as Mi­ami’s fourth out­fielder. …

Hours later, Dodgers’ first base­man Adrian Gon­za­lez achieved a spe­cial mile­stone of his own with his 300th home run, be­com­ing the 140th player in history to reach that mark. Other play­ers in the same club who have played in 2016 in­clude Ro­driguez (No. 9, 696 homers), Al­bert Pu­jols (11, 581), David Or­tiz (19, 528), Miguel Cabr­era (46, 433), Adrian Bel­tre (48, 429), Car­los Bel­tran (19, 415), Mark Teix­eira (55, 404), Ryan Howard (77, 373), Prince Fielder (116, 319) and Jose Bautista (137, 301). Ed­win En­car­na­cion (298 homers) and Matt Hol­l­i­day (293) could join the club this sea­son. …

When Dodgers out­fielder Yasiel Puig made his MLB de­but on June 3, 2013, it seemed that the Cuban de­fec­tor was on his way to be­com­ing one of base­ball’s new­est su­per­stars. Only 22, Puig hit .319/.391/.534 and bashed 19 home runs in 104 games, and he dis­played a can­non of an arm in right field. Puig’s numbers dipped slightly for 2014, and then sig­nif­i­cantly in both 2015 and ’16, which earned him a de­mo­tion to Class AAA Ok­la­homa City af­ter he went 3-for-5 in a game against Ari­zona on July 31. The Dodgers were able to place him on op­tional waivers, which kept him on the 40-man ros­ter and es­sen­tially pre­vented other teams from claim­ing him. …

An­drew Ben­in­tendi, the 2015 Golden Spikes Award win­ner — that’s col­lege base­ball’s ver­sion of the Heis­man Tro­phy — didn’t take long to reach the big leagues. Ben­in­tendi made his MLB de­but on Aug. 2 and col­lected his first two hits the next day. Ac­cord­ing to Ja­son Mas­trodonato of the Boston Her­ald, Boston gen­eral man­ager John Farrell said that the left fielder has quickly got­ten through his “eas­ing in” pe­riod and could be near­ing full-time duty. Ben­in­tendi hit .295/.357/.515 in 263 Class AA plate ap­pear­ances af­ter start­ing the sea­son in Class A.

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