Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco entered tonight’s contest with the Houston Astros hoping to get his 2,000th major league hit. He did so in style, slamming a two-run home run to put the Phillies up by a 5-1 score late in the game.
Polanco is the 17th active major league player to collect 2,000 hits and the 269th player to do so in history. Polanco has been on a hot streak since starting the season in an awful slump, and he’s up to .281. Polanco is hitting .354 (23-for-65) since April 25, and he’s 1-for-3 tonight with three runs scored.
Polanco is a .301 career hitter who has made a living out of his tremendous ability to make contact with the ball. He’s been a steady performer at both second and third base for the St. Louis Cardinals, Phillies, Detroit Tigers, and then Phillies again. Polanco has topped the .300 mark five times, he’s hit at least .280 11 times, and he topped out at .341 with the Tigers in 2007, a year in which he made the All-Star team for the first time at the age of 31, won a Gold Glove, and finished 17th in the league MVP voting.
Polanco was again selected to the All-Star team last year, this time with the Phillies, for his ridiculous start to the season. He cooled off and finished at just .277/.335/.339, although he did win another Gold Glove while leading the league in fielding percentage at the hot corner. Polanco is in the final year of a three-year, $18.5 million contract he signed prior to 2010, and he’s making $6.25 million. There is a club option for the 2013 season at $5.5 million with a $1 million buyout, although at this point, it’s likely the Phillies will decline the option given Polanco’s declining offensive numbers.