The 2023 season is officially upon us. With every new season, comes new MLB milestones to keep an eye on. As fans, we enjoy watching our favorite players join new ranks among some of the best players to play the game. Last season, we saw Miguel Cabrera break into the 3,000-hit club. We also saw Albert Pujols string together an incredible second half of the season to engrave his name as one to reach 700 career home runs. MLB milestones are everywhere and should be celebrated when new tiers are achieved. Here are a few to keep an eye on for 2023.
Offensive MLB Milestones to keep track of
There won’t be a new hit king crowned in 2023, however, there are still plenty of exciting milestones that can be reached this year. In total, there are five players who have a shot at reaching the 2,000-hit club.
Elvis Andrus enters his 15th big league season only three hits away. He will get to do it with his fourth team in his long career, the Boston Red Sox.
Andrew McCutchen makes his return back to the team he spent over nine years with, the Pittsburgh Pirates, looking for 52 hits.
Jose Altuve who averages just under 200 hits a year in his tenure with the Houston Astros, comes in just 65 hits shy of joining the 2,000-hit club.
Freddie Freeman starts his second season with the Los Angeles Dodgers needing 97 hits, while aging Evan Longoria joins a young Arizona Diamondbacks team looking for 117 base knocks to achieve this MLB milestone.
Everyone who enjoys baseball enjoys watching the long balls. These next four players are set up in 2023 to put their names in the 300-home run category.
Nolan Arenado went to a new team in 2021 and got out of the power-hitters paradise of Coors Field. The good news for Arenado, he hasn’t skipped a beat. He enters his third season with the St. Louis Cardinals where the first home run he hits on the year will get him to 300.
Read More: The Cardinals will hit the OVER in 2023
Freeman and McCutchen make their second appearance on this list needing only eight and 13 home runs respectfully. Finally, Bryce Harper, who may miss time this year with off-season elbow surgery, will be looking for 15 deep flies to break down the door to the 300 club.
MLB milestones to watch for on the Hill
While seeing a big-league hitter achieve an MLB milestone is impressive in itself, seeing a pitcher accomplish it can be more appreciative in my eyes. Pitchers don’t have the luxury of getting to play every day, or close to it, as hitters do. They have to make the most of every time out. Longevity and health play major factors in getting to a new MLB milestone.
Although wins and losses can be a saturated stat for pitchers, and definitely one that shouldn’t determine the value of a pitcher, being a guy who can be counted on to get a win every fifth day is big. Justin Verlander, fresh off a 2022 Cy Young award, heads into New York on a two-year deal. He will look to lock up six wins to achieve 250 in his career.
Clayton Kershaw, who averages 17 wins in his big league career, comes into 2023 needing three to reach the 200 mark. Kershaw has been one of the most dominant regular-season starters for a long period of time. I would expect him to reach it very early on.
Adam Wainwright straps it up for one more season looking for just five more wins to reach 200 as well.
Strikeouts from a pitcher’s perspective are a thing of beauty to watch. Social media accounts like Pitching Ninja on Twitter have made the art of the strikeout look all that more impressive.
Zack Greinke heads into his second season in his return back with the Kansas City Royals needing 118 to reach the 3,000 mark.
The ace of the New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole, comes into 2023 looking to achieve his own MLB milestone needing 70 strikeouts to get in the 2,000 club.
In order to rack up a ton of wins as a starter, you need to start a ton of games. Because of that, it comes as no surprise these pitchers are close to joining new ranks in 2023.
Verlander will look for 18 starts this year to reach 500 in his career. Both Kershaw and Wainwright will depend on health to each join the 400 starts club. While Kershaw is only two starts away from achieving that feat, Wainwright is just 10 away from joining the club.
Although there won’t be any new all-time career records set in 2023, there will be plenty of MLB milestones to keep an eye out for. Fans of these teams and players will anticipate it all year long, which will make for an exciting 2023 season.
Main Image: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY