By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro got his 900th hit Monday, at the age of 25. He’ll pass 1,000 easily by the end of the season, leading us to keep projecting. What we find is something potentially bizarre — a member of baseball’s 3,000-hit club with no reasonable case for the Hall of Fame.READ MORE: Chicago Sky Win First WNBA Championship As They Top Phoenix Mercury
Some rough, cocktail-napkin math and generous assumptions of health and steady rates of production would have Castro reaching the milestone around age 38. Though he’s currently below water per Fangraphs at -0.5 WAR, his averages would project to a career value at that time of 33.2 WAR.
For perspective, the 28 players who have reached 3,000 hits average 92.5 WAR. By far the worst of them is Lou Brock, whose 43.2 ranks 259th in history among position players and makes him a somewhat embarrassing outlier. The next lowest is Dave Winfield at 59.9.READ MORE: Jubilant And Inspired Fans, Booming Businesses Near Wintrust Arena As Chicago Sky Win WNBA Championship
Castro started full-time play young enough to begin compiling one of the most consumable of counting stats, but his projected career production winds up to be roughly that of Rafael Furcal or Jeff Cirillo, around 440th all-time.
Right now Rafael Palmeiro remains outside the Hall of Fame with his 3,020 hits, but he clearly merits enshrinement with 70 WAR and may eventually get in if attitudes change over the years.
Not so for Castro, who’s on a pace to become a baseball first.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Slow Warm-Up Beginning