Two questions regarding Beltre's legacy: Is he likely to reach 3,000 career hits, and might he get inducted into the Hall of Fame?
Every year, the Bill James Handbook calculates the percentage chance of players reaching various milestones using the player's accomplishments to date, age, and level of performance. This year's Handbook lists Beltre's chance of reaching 3,000 hits at 81%. If the season were to end today, Beltre would have to become the 89th hitter in history to get 490 hits at age 36 or later in order to reach 3,000. (He has 2,510 through June 28.) If we assume that he can get another 75 hits this year (which seems safe; he has 84 in the Rangers' 80 games thus far), he'll need 415. There have been 111 players, ranging from Bill Buckner (419) to Pete Rose (1,494), to have done that. That total includes 11 third basemen:
The Hall of Fame outlook is even brighter. Despite the stinginess of Hall voters in recent years, 2,500 hits by age 35 has been a near-lock. Of the other 31 players to have reached the milestone, the only ones not in the Hall of Fame are Alex Rodriguez (still active), Pete Rose (banned from baseball), Derek Jeter (still active), and Vada Pinson (flamed out - hit .223/.248/.335 in 103 games at age 36, his last year in the majors). Takeaway: If Beltre can keep playing at a reasonably high level (he's currently better than that, ranking second in the American League with a .333 batting average) and, in the immortal words of Satchel Paige, go very light on the vices, he stands a good chance being inducted into Cooperstown.