Jey Young/ Ball Boy Blog
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.
NOTE: Players' numbers are as of 5/22/22
Known more for his power than his bat rather than his glove over recent seasons, Ozuna still can swing it even after missing the majority of 2021 due to a domestic violence case/suspension. Thus far in his career, Ozuna has 181HR and averages 28HR/162G. Ozuna is already 31yo and needs 319HR more to reach 500, and with his current pace, it would take him 11.39 more seasons to reach the mark, or age 42. Power does age well, and only time will tell for Ozuna.
JOEY GALLO IS the HR/K king's definition of swing for the fences or strikes out. Gallo can not only lead the MLB in BB/K but also hit 38HR and earn a Gold Glove while hitting .199 on a season. Yeah, that was just 2021 for Gallo. Gallo has 163HR over his 8yr career and is only 28yo, which those two numbers line up nicely in his favor. Gallo needs 337HR to reach 500 and averages 40HR/Yr, which would mean Gallo only needs 8.4 more seasons of that production to reach the 500HR mark. Gallo might be in a spot to reach 500 by 36yo.
Mr. bet, on myself, is on pace as of 5/22 for 58HR during one of the most followed contract years that I can remember. Judge is already 30yo and playing in his 8th season in the MLB. Injuries slowed Judge in 2018, 2019, and 2020. After a healthy 2021, where he finished 4th in the MVP voting, he looks to be leading the charge in NY for the Yankees to get back to the playoffs. He has a career of 172HR, leaving him with 328 more needed to reach the mark; his 46HR/162G is impressive. He would need 7.13 more seasons to reach 500HR. If he can maintain his health and hopefully stay in hitter friend Yankee Stadium, I think it's possible.
Coming off a career-high 34HR in 2021 while then landing a 5yr/$100MM contract with the Phillies, the pressure is on Castellanos to rake and take some pressure off Harper. Castellanos currently sits at 173HR during his 11yr career, and he is only 30yo, which bodes well for the potential of 500HR as power ages in the MLB, and with the universal DH, most of the guys on the list are in a spot, where power can age well if the glove goes to the wayside. His 25HR/162G career makes it so it would take him 13.08 more seasons to hit the remaining 337HR he needs to hit 500HR. I want to revisit Castellanos when his contract in Philly is up and see if the power continues or regresses.
One of the few players on this list that you don't think of power, and you think purely of glove-first; great defense, but Franky can swing it with the best of the SS. He didn't get a $341MM/10yr deal just for his glove now. Lindor does have 164HR over his 7yr career and is only 28yo while having the entire 10yrs left on his deal with the NY Mets. Lidor is one of my favorite players, not only for his glove but for his bat and the energy he puts on the field. Lindor needs 336HR to reach 500 with an average of 28HR/162G. He would need even 12 seasons to reach the 500HR mark. A few more gold gloves and silver sluggers are much more realistic.
The 29yo 3B/2B, Mr. Cleveland Guardian for the next seven seasons through 2028 and likely for the rest of his career. I am a big J-Ram fan and have been for years, and I hope that Cleveland can put a competitive product around him so that he can shine in the postseason. I hope that is the case with the pitching staff that the Guardians do have. Regardless, back to J-Ram, he has 172HR in his 7yr career, and with his average 27HR/162G, he needs another 328HR to reach the mark in the 12.15 seasons. I do not think that J-Ram will make it to 500HR, but it will go down as one of the best in Cleveland ever.
The biggest 5'9" OF you will ever meet in MVP, 2x WS Champ, and future HoF Mookie Betts is one of the best players in baseball and well-deserving of the $365MM the Dodgers are paying him through 2032. I'm a big fan of Mookie Betts, and his cannon is one of the best in the game. Betts has 188HR over his 7yr MLB career, which means he would need another 312HR to reach 500 at his current pace of 30HR/162G; he would need 10.4 more seasons to reach the mark. If there is anyone other than Judge and maybe Lindor, I have Betts as a lock to reach 500HR.
Yes, we talked about Suarez; we should probably talk about the big guy out in Minnesota with the Twins. The 29yo, oft-injured 1B for the Twins has battled injuries during his entire career and may be out of luck for any significant milestones. Regardless he is one of the top 50 players with enough name value to make the shortlist. Sano has a career of 162HR, with a 38HR/162HR, which would make it, so he needs another 338HR, and it would take him 8.89 more seasons to meet the mark. With the age and the universal DH and how well power ages in the MLB, it could happen if he can stay on the field for more than 135G in a season.
Belli, who is only three months older than your ball boy, has already won a world series, MVP, RoY, and makes $17MM a year. Thus, making my writing about him slightly bitter and envious. However, back to baseball, Belli, who seems to have fallen off of every radar, is only 26yo and has 138 career HR. He needs 362HR to reach the 500HR mark; he averages 35HR/162G, which would mean he needs 10.34 more seasons to reach the mark. With age, and if their health can regain form before 2021, he can undoubtedly meet the mark; however, he likely will not be with the LA Dodgers.
What is there to say about Ohtani? That hasn't already been said. Ohtani is fantastic and is only 27yo and has 102HR over his 4yrs in the MLB. The age, the power, the way he takes care of himself, the two-way play won't last forever, and moving to a full-time DH role is likely going to happen in 3-5 seasons. He needs 398HRs to reach 500HR and averages 37HR/162G; he would need 10.75 more seasons to reach 500 and 13.45 more. If that HR takes a tick up, he could reach 600HR when it's all said and done and be the GOAT of all Japanese-born players.
Stay Tuned as next week, we circle back to the 3000H/500HR and talk about that guy for the mini-series "What About Him."
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