Chasing 500HR PT 1
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The 500 HR club is even more exclusive as only 28 players have reached that milestone. 500 HR requires elite power, consistency, and dominance and often is another milestone that can take around two decades to achieve. This milestone might be even harder to hit as we have colder April games and deader baseballs.
Important Note: I took the player's current HR total on their career from 500 and divided it by their career 162 average. I did not subtract the 2022 season. Also, I took the total of these players from 5/4/22; please keep that in mind.
BOOMSTICK! The now 41yo Cruz is playing in his 1st season with the Nationals after signing a 1+1 deal for the 2023 season. Cruz is the closest on the list to the rare 500. The 15yr vet averaged 38HR a year over his career and swatted 32HR in 2021 between the Twins and Rays. Cruz has 451HR and needs only 49 more. Thus the countdown over these next two seasons is officially on!
The 32yo Stanton, as of this writing, recently crossed the 350HR mark. Stanton is still playing through his 13yr, $325MM contract that runs through the 2027 season. Since 2019 the injuries have slowed Stanton's pace over 30+HR a down to just being grateful he is on the field. The 2021 season showed that an age 31 Stanton can still hit the long ball over the short porch with 35HR in 2021. Stanton's career 162 is 42. However, let's go off the last healthy season of 35. 500-352=148/35= 4.22 more seasons, and if he wanted to reach the rarer 600HR mark, 600-352=248/35= 7.08 more seasons season. Realistically the 500HR mark is likely for the slugging DH/OF.
The 9x All-star has 1433H to date and 314HR. Trout averages 179H/39HR per season. At the current pace, Trout would need to maintain that average for 8.75 seasons to reach 3K hits and 4.76 more seasons to reach 500HR, and for 7.33 more seasons to reach 600HR. I think Trout can be a productive player until nearly age 40. Staying healthy will be the key to becoming the 8th member of the 3K, 500HR club before he hangs it up.
The 31yo 3B for the Cardinals is arguably the best offensive, defensive 3B of his generation. Arenado is a fantastic player and an all-around superstar! Arenado has 275HR in his career and is 225away from the 500HR club. Arenado averages a respectable 35HR per 162 games.
Let's do the math 225/35= 6.42 more seasons at his current average would place him at the end of his current deal, which runs through the 2027 season. I think that Arenado will have an extra notch on his HoF resume when he reaches the 500HR club.
The 32yo MVP has had an excellent 11yr career with the Braves and now is moving on with the Dodgers for the remaining 6yrs of his career. Freeman has never been a dominant power hitter but has always been consistent. He averages 28HR per 162G played. Freeman sits at 274HR in his career and would need 226HR more to reach 500. At his current pace, let's do the math 226/28= 8.07 more seasons to reach the number. I think the power will develop and get better going into his 30s, and in the hitter-friendly Dodger stadium, I can see career HR numbers for the next six seasons.
Harper hits at 1287H and 269HR. Haper averages 161H and 34HR per season. Harper would need 10.63 seasons to maintain that pace to reach 3K hits and 6.79 to reach 500HR. I don't doubt that Harper, in his age 30 seasons, will reach the 500HR club and fall short of the 3K hits club.
The 32yo Rizzo is playing in the extremely LHH friend Yankee Stadium in the late years of his prime. Rizzo is a great player and an even better personality in the MLB. Rizzo is a little older and playing on a 1+1 deal and likely is at the end of his prime. As it sits today, Rizzo averages 29HR a season and has 260HR in his career, and he needs 240more to reach the 500HR clubs. Let's do the math 240/29= 8.28 more seasons to reach the mark. Rizzo would likely need a power sure and a stay in NY to end his career and play into his age 40 seasons slugging over the short porch. Possible- yes. Likely- no.
SD Padres 3B is probably the most exciting name on this list as he, to me, is the guy who will, maybe even over Trout, be the 8th member of 3K hits and 500HR. Let's look at why. Machado is in his 30 seasons, playing in his 9th season, and is under contract for six more seasons after 2022. Machado sits at 1446H and 254HR. He averages 179H and 31HR per season. Maintaining those averages would take him 8.68 seasons to reach 3K and 7.93 seasons to reach 500HR. This means he would only need until age 38 to hit both marks. I fully support Machado and will state my claim that he will be the next to 3K hits and join the 3K/500HR list as the 8th member.
I love a Springer Dinger highlight, looking at Springer's swing and his great power. Springer is one of the rare CF who hits for some power. Springer is a top 25HR by the numbers as it stands in the MLB among active players and is as big as a name as anyone in the MLB. Springer has hit 202 career HR and needs another 298 to reach 500HR. That amount is improbable, as he is already 32YO, and injuries caught up to him during 2019/2021. Let's do the math as Springer averages 36HR per 162G played. 298/36= 8.28 more seasons. Again, much like Rizzo, he needs to play into his 40's with power to reach the mark.
The 30yo Seattle 3B/DH is at the tail end of the top 25 in career HR totals. Suarez stays on the field and either hit an HR. It seems he strikes out, as Seattle fans are quickly learning. Suarez has 196HR in his career and needs 304 more to reach the mark. Suarez averages 31HR per 162G. Let's do the math 304/31= 9.80 more seasons at his average to hit the 500HR club. I do not think personally that he will get there as Suarez's volatility will like lead to less and less PT over the later parts of his career.
Stay tuned as we explore players who rank from 26-50 amongst active players in the MLB who have the most HR.
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