Madrigal says joining 3,000-hit club is ‘very reachable'


We've heard Michael Kopech call Eloy Jiménez "the Babe Ruth of our generation."

We've heard Jiménez call Kopech "the Nolan Ryan" of that same generation and Luis Robert "the next Mike Trout."

We've heard young White Sox stars in the making talk about goals of winning the World Series and achieving incredible things.

So maybe we shouldn't be surprised that Nick Madrigal's goal is to be a part of one of baseball history's most exclusive clubs.

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Talking with Our Chuck Garfien on the White Sox Talk Podcast, the White Sox second baseman — with fewer than 30 big league games under his belt and still possessing prospect status — has his sights set on 3,000 hits in his major league career.

"I’ve seen a lot of great hitters in this league growing up and watching guys. The 3,000 mark is not easy at all, there’s very few people that do it. But I feel like that’s very reachable," he said. "I know that’s throwing a big statement out there, but I believe in myself and I know what it takes to play this game and I feel confident I can do that.

"I haven’t broke it down exactly by season, but I know it’s going to take a lot of getting on base."

Indeed it is. Though in his first taste of the big leagues, Madrigal showed a knack for doing just that. As advertised, he banged out a lot of hits and hardly ever struck out. Madrigal played in just 29 games during the shortened 2020 season, batting .340 with a .376 on-base percentage and just seven strikeouts in 109 trips to the plate.

He's 35 hits into his quest for 3,000, in case you were wondering.

Madrigal said he hasn't broken it down by season. But we can. His 35 hits in 29 games last season is equivalent to roughly 195 hits in a full 162-game season. If he banged out 195 hits every season from here on out, he'd join the 3,000-hit club sometime in 2036.

Obviously, that's some loose math — surely others could give you a more exact figure — that assumes Madrigal is going to be one of the most durable players in baseball history and log 162 games every year for the next decade and a half. That's unlikely to happen, of course. Heck, he suffered a separated shoulder in one of his first major league games.

But Madrigal is already describing the idea of him doing something just 32 major leaguers have ever done as realistic.

If joining the 3,000-hit club is realistic for Madrigal, then so, too, is eventual election into the Hall of Fame, as all but two of the club's eligible members, Pete Rose and Rafael Palmeiro, have been denied entry to Cooperstown.

Madrigal's got a long way to go. But his confidence is already reaching legendary levels.

"I’m not big on telling people your goals or saying you’re going to do something. Ultimately, you’ve got to go out and do it," he said. "There have been a lot of people that have said they’re going to do things. But I feel confident in myself and my work ability, and hopefully it comes, god willing."

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