Sep 15, 2020 - Sports

The MLB players who could join Albert Pujols in the 600 home run club

Data: MLB; Table: Axios Visuals
Data: MLB; Table: Axios Visuals

Albert Pujols tied Willie Mays at No. 5 on the all-time HR list over the weekend, belting a moonshot for No. 660 at Coors Field.

The state of play: Pujols, 40, is one of just nine players in the exclusive 600-HR club. Which active players have a shot at joining him?

1. Veterans: Multiple future Hall of Famers are among the top 10 active HR leaders, but only one has even an outside shot at 600 dingers.

  • Not happening: Miguel Cabrera, 37 (482 HR); Edwin Encarnación, 37 (422 HR); Nelson Cruz, 40 (417 HR); Ryan Braun, 36 (348 HR); Robinson Canó, 37 (331 HR); Jay Bruce, 33 (318 HR); Justin Upton, 32 (303 HR); Evan Longoria, 34 (302 HR).
  • Possible, but unlikely: Giancarlo Stanton, 30 (311 HR). His outlook was brighter when he mashed 59 at age 27, but he's played just 190 games since then, adding 44 HR to his total. Can someone this injury-prone average 29 a year until he's 40?

2. Established superstars: This quartet of in-their-prime megastars could presumably reach 600 if they stay healthy and play until they're ~40.

  • Mike Trout, 29 (301 HR): This feels like a near lock. He's averaged 51 HR per 162 games since 2017 and needs just 29 per season through the end of his contract (2030) to reach 600.
  • Nolan Arenado, 29 (235 HR): At Coors Field, anything is possible. He's averaged 41 HR per 162 games since 2015 and would need 33 per season through age 40 to reach 600.
  • Bryce Harper, 27 (227 HR): He's only cracked 40 once (2015), but playing in Philly's bandbox stadium for the next 11 years should help. He needs the same per season average as Arenado, but he's two years younger.
  • Manny Machado, 27 (220 HR): Same age as Harper, with roughly the same outlook.

3. Next in line: A lot can change in two decades, but the three youngsters with the best shot at cracking 600 are probably Cody Bellinger, 25 (121 HR); Ronald Acuña Jr., 22 (78 HR) and Juan Soto, 21 (67 HR).

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