After Albert Pujols, who will be the next MLB slugger in the 600-homer club?

Albert Pujols continued his climb up the all-time home run list on Sunday by hitting a two-run blast against the Colorado Rockies for No. 660 in his career. That tied the 40-year-old Los Angeles Angels slugger with Hall of Famer Willie Mays for fifth place in MLB history.

Ahead of Pujols on the list are some familiar names and numbers. 

1. Barry Bonds — 762

2. Hank Aaron — 755

3. Babe Ruth — 714

4. Alex Rodriguez — 696

That's it. 

But it might be even more interesting to look behind Pujols to see who else might join him in the all-time top 10. 

Albert Pujols hit his 660th career home run on Sunday, putting him in a tie with Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list. (Photo: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports)

Currently, Frank Robinson sits in 10th place with 586. Is there anyone out there now who might be able to pass Robinson someday and possibly get to 600?

The closest active player to Pujols is Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers with 482 through Sunday. At age 37, Cabrera is in the twilight of his career — hitting just 20 of those homers over the past three seasons. 

Next on the active list are designated hitters Edwin Encarnacion (422) and Nelson Cruz (416), who are right next to each other at Nos. 52 and 53. But at ages 37 and 39 … do they have another 175 or so homers left in them after this season ends? 

Giancarlo Stanton has 311 at age 30. If he could only stay healthy …

And then there's Mike Trout. He just hit his 300th this past week (and then 301st). At age 29, Trout is on track to become one of the all-time greats. And judging from his year-by-year slugging percentages (he entered Sunday's game at a career-high .660 for this season), it's possible he still hasn't peaked. 

Dan Symborski of Fangraphs did an interesting study in April on the impact of the possible cancellation of the 2020 season on certain players chasing career milestones. 

Trout had the best chance of all active players to get to 600 homers at 58%. Without any season in 2020 — missing 162 games in the prime of his career — his chances dropped to 47%. By adding this season's HR total (16 and counting), maybe Trout is right at 50-50.

But what's even more interesting were Symborski's next most likely players behind Trout to hit 600.

With a full 2020 season, Gleyber Torres (26%), Ronald Acuña Jr. (25%), Bryce Harper (25%) and Cody Bellinger (25%) had the best chance. With no 2020, Juan Soto (20%) jumped to the top of the list.

But even Harper — with 227 homers at age 27 — would have to average roughly 37 homers for the next 10 seasons to get to 600. He's only hit more than 37 once in his first nine seasons in the majors. 

As for veterans Cabrera, Encarnacion and Cruz … they had only the slimmest chance of reaching 600 with a full 2020 season. The shortened version has essentially dropped their chances to zero. 

Follow USA TODAY Sports' Steve Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner.

Source: Read Full Article

Create Account



Log In Your Account