MLB Milestone Watch List for the Week of April 10, 2017

Every week throughout the 2017 regular season, we’ll handpick impressive, embarrassing and peculiar feats for you to witness across Major League Baseball. The following MLB milestones could be achieved from April 10-16, so adjust your viewing schedule accordingly.

Daniel Murphy (Washington Nationals): .300 career batting average

When it could happen: against Philadelphia Phillies (series begins Apr. 14)

Batting average doesn’t carry as much weight as it used to. Fans know better, and so do many of the players—they are increasingly willing to draw walks and swing for the fences (at the risk of striking out) if it helps their teams score. It’s still an important barometer for Murphy (.297 BA), though. As a defensive liability who’s reluctant to take pitches, he needs plenty of hits to affirm his All-Star status. After narrowly falling short of the 2016 National League batting title, a hot handful of games to open the season have him contending again. Another hyper-productive week would propel Murphy above the fabled .300 mark for his career.

Matt Holliday (New York Yankees): 300 career home runs

When it could happen: any game this week

Holliday reached another round number this past Saturday with his 2,000th career hit. In a lineup devoid of young slugger Gary Sanchez (placed on the disabled list with a biceps strain), the Yankees will presumably continue to give this vet as many opportunities to produce as possible. He begins the week only four away from 300. These milestones inevitably get one’s mind racing about Hall of Fame possibilities, and Holliday actually has quite a lot in common with another powerful corner outfielder who earned induction in recent years—Jim Rice.

  • Holliday’s career stats: .303/.382/.515 (134 OPS+), 296 HR, 107 SB in 1,778 G, 44.6 WAR
  • Rice’s career stats: .298/.352/.502 (128 OPS+), 382 HR, 58 SB in 2,089 G, 47.4 WAR

Paul Goldschmidt: highest career Wins Above Replacement for an Arizona Diamondbacks position player

When it could happen: any game this week

The 29-year-old flies under the radar in what’s been a—forgive the pun!—golden era for National League first basemen. In 2017, he’ll be fighting for positional supremacy with the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Joey Votto and Freddie Freeman (among others). Even in his finest seasons, Goldschmidt was overshadowed by Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper, finishing runner-up to each of them in NL MVP balloting. Fortunately, as the media’s attention is focused elsewhere, they still keep track of his stats in the desert. Among position players, only Luis Gonzalez (29.9 WAR) has ever been more valuable to the D-Backs than Goldy (29.3 WAR through Apr. 8), by Baseball-Reference’s estimation. That record is about to switch hands.

Atlanta Braves: franchise all-time winning percentage dropping below .500

When it could happen: against San Diego Padres (series begins Apr. 14)

It’s Year 3 of Atlanta’s rebuilding phase. With a loaded farm system and many of their best current major league players under the team’s long-term control, the future seems bright. In the meantime, however, their current mediocrity threatens to plunge the franchise’s overall record—dating back to 1876—below the .500 mark. Losing each of their five games this coming week would do the trick. In two-plus seasons since firing general manager Frank Wren and rebooting the entire organization, the Braves have given fans a throwback product that shares much more in common with the Boston Doves than their 1990’s/early 2000’s NL East dynasty.

Featured Image: 2017 Topps Baseball “Five Tool” insert.