Now that the Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera has become the 28th member of the 500 home run club, we ask ourselves, which active players have a chance of reaching that number? Here’s a look at 14 figures who could keep Miguel company at that exclusive club.
With each player, our analyst Mike Petriello tells us if he thinks he will make it or not.
Lifetime HR: 443
At-bats per HR: 15.3 (36 HRs per 550 at-bats)
Do you know why Cruz is going to hit 500 homers? Because for the Dominican, age is nothing more than a number. Cruz hits home runs like he’s 21 instead of 41. He is helped by serving as a designated hitter, which keeps him from wearing down his legs patrolling the outfield. If there are no injuries, it’s almost a guarantee that Cruz will hit 500 home runs. And would we be surprised if at 45 he hit 600 homers or something like that?
Petriello Forecast: It will fall short, though not by much. Cruz needs 57 home runs to get to 500. Let’s assume he’ll hit a few more in the final weeks of this season. Still, only two players have hit 35 or more career home runs from their 41-year-old seasons, Carlton Fisk (53) and Barry Bonds (54). That means no one has done what Cruz would have to do to hit 500 lifetime homers. Cruz may be the player on this list who was hit the hardest by the shortened 2020 season. That said, if the National League ends up adopting the designated hitter, the Dominican will have many more opportunities to find employment.
Lifetime HR: 334
At-bats per HR: 14.2 (39 HRs per 550 at-bats)
When it comes to gunners who have been in the majors for more than a few years, no one has hit home runs more often than Stanton. But as is the case with other players on this list, health will be paramount for Stanton as he struggles to hit 500 home runs. Although he was out of action with injuries for much of the past two seasons, so far in 2021 he has remained healthy.
Petriello Forecast: He will arrive because he is already two-thirds of the way, and he is barely 31 years old. As Manny points out, staying on the field will be his biggest challenge, but even though his time with the Yankees has been disappointing, he has been thunderous (slugging .492) and is under contract for seven more seasons after 2021. He needs only 166 home runs. to get to 500 and you have plenty of time to get there.
Lifetime HR: 310
At-bats per HR: 15.0 (37 HRs per 550 at-bats)
Aside from Stanton and Cruz, Trout is the player on this list with the best chance of hitting 500 home runs, for two reasons: He just turned 30 and is more than halfway there. True, his great eye at bat and pitchers’ tendency not to give him pitches to hit could hurt him, but if he stays healthy, the 500 home runs are probably a formality. The question is, will it reach 600?
Petriello Forecast: Insured. There is nothing that Trout can’t do on the field except to lead his team to the playoffs. Although injuries are a concern, Trout was enjoying the best start to his career before injuring his right calf.
Lifetime HR: 260
At-bats per HR: 17.6 (31 HRs per 550 at-bats)
Arenado’s consistent excellence at bat is overshadowed only by his extraordinary defense at third base. Outside of a shoulder injury that hampered him during the shortened 2020 season, Arenado has been very resilient. If he continues like this, he has a good chance of hitting 500 home runs.
Petriello Forecast: He won’t make it, because he just turned 30 and is barely halfway there. Although alongside DJ LeMahieu and Matt Holliday he has shown that Rockies hitters are capable of performing after leaving Coors Field, he has also just gone from one of the most favorable stadiums for right-handed hitters when it comes to home runs. of the worst.
Lifetime HR: 255
At-bats per HR: 17.4 (32 HRs per 550 at-bats)
It is true that Harper is only 28 years old. That’s what happens when you debut at age 19 in 2012. Since he started his career as a teenager and thanks to his tendency to hit home runs, he’s already halfway there. As long as he stays healthy, there is no reason to doubt that he will hit 500 home runs.
Petriello Forecast: A pretty compelling case. He’s already halfway there and he’s barely 28 years old. More importantly, he has shone more than ever in the past two years, except for his MVP campaign in 2015. (In seven years in Washington, he slugged .500 twice; in Philadelphia, he is 3-3. 3 in that sense.) And he’s going to spend the next decade in one of the best stadiums for left-handed hitters.
Lifetime HR: 245
At-bats per HR: 20.3 (27 HRs per 550 at-bats)
Machado has time on his side, as he just turned 29 and is almost halfway to 500 home runs. Although he got off to a slow start early in his career when it comes to power, he has averaged one homer per 17.8 at-bats since 2015 and has a good chance of hitting 500 homers.
Petriello Forecast: You have a better chance than it sounds. It took Machado about 1,300 plate appearances to become a hitter, but he hit 30 or more homers each season from 2015 to 2019 and had 16 in the shortened 2020 season. If he hits 30 home runs this year, Machado will join a Exclusive club of very few players with six seasons of 30 homers or more at the end of their 28-year season.
Lifetime HR: 149
At-bats per HR: 12.8 (43 HRs per 550 at-bats)
If there’s one thing Gallo’s first home run as a member of the Yankees showed us, it’s that he’s going to love hitting at Yankee Stadium. The massive hit, which had a 48-degree angle of departure, landed in the bleachers in right field. For a guy who hits hard home runs often, in the Bronx some lines that wouldn’t have been home runs when he was in Texas will come out of the park. That will help improve his chances of hitting 500 home runs one day.
Petriello Forecast: It will fall short. Although his power is not in doubt, with many of his plate appearances ending in strikeouts or walks, he has hit just 149 career homers. He’s a year younger than Harper, but he’s not even a third of the way ahead.
Lifetime HR: 146
At-bats per HR: 13.2 (42 HRs per 550 at-bats)
Does Judge have just 146 career homers? It’s true. That shows how often you get the ball out of the park is what matters, and Judge does so at a frantic pace. The 500 home runs are not a long shot for the Yankees hitter.
Petriello Forecast: For all his prodigious feats of muzzle velocity, Judge is more than a gunner. He’s just a great hitter. But it is also greater than people think. He will turn 30 next April and has played 112 games in a single campaign once. (He’ll soon pass that number this season, though.) He’ll hit a lot of home runs in the next decade, but he’s unlikely to hit his missing 354.
Lifetime HR: 132
At-bats per HR: 15.5 (35 HRs per 550 at-bats)
Heading into this season, the ranger would have been seen as a great candidate for this list. He’s still a candidate for 500 home runs, but his big bump this season and the continual changes in his swing cast doubt on his chances.
Petriello Forecast: No. Bellinger is hitting .172 with nine home runs this year, and he didn’t impress last year, either. He’s too young and talented to rule him out, but at this point, with 132 homers, it would even be hard to know when he’ll hit 200.
Lifetime HR: 97
At-bats per HR: 12.6 (44 HRs per 550 at-bats)
The first baseman has firmly established himself as one of the most prolific home runners in the game (his two consecutive Home Run Festival titles don’t hurt that reputation, either). Although he has not yet reached 100 homers and is already in his campaign at 27 years old, there are not as many players who serve the ball as often as the Polar Bear, which gives him a chance of reaching 500.
Petriello Forecast: Another 403 home runs are a tall order, so he wouldn’t make it, especially since, while his innate power is undeniable, his career total seems a bit high for his 53-homer rookie season that wouldn’t be repeated.
Ronald Acuña Jr.
Lifetime HR: 105
At-bats per HR: 14.4 (38 HRs per 550 at-bats)
What is exciting about the Venezuelan is not only his potential to achieve the feat one day, but also his possible entry into a club that has just one member: The 400 home run, 400 scam club, which consists of just Barry Bonds. Acuña already has 105 homers and 78 stolen bases in 395 career games. The combination of power and speed creates intriguing possibilities.
Petriello Forecast: The knee injury cost Acuña valuable time (and home hits!) That he won’t be able to recoup, though there’s little reason to think that will impact his thunder in the long run. After turning 23, he has the same slugging percentage as Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez and Frank Robinson. It seems that it will come.
Lifetime HR: 89
At-bats per HR: 16.7 (33 HRs per 550 at-bats)
The Dominican will surely hit 100 home runs before he turns 23. And it is also likely that he would have succeeded had it not been for the abbreviated 2020 campaign. If he stays healthy, he is shaping up to more than 30 homers every year for a decade.
* _Perriello’s forecast: * _Behind Acuña – and narrowly – Soto has earned the reputation of being a legendary strike zone expert, who some forget his innate thunder. Soto, almost a year younger than Acuña, will also do it.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
Lifetime HR: 73
At-bats per HR: 12.4 (44 HRs per 550 at-bats)
Tatis became the only player since at least 1901 to hit 70 home runs and steal 50 or more bases in the first 227 games of his career. The only question is, can he stay healthy to hit 500 home runs? His persistent left shoulder problems could definitely be a hindrance.
* _Pretiello’s forecast: * _With simple talent, there is no doubt; He has slugged .608 in his career and is only 22 years old. It’s easy to see him reach the feat, but of the three young superstars, he would be the least likely.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Lifetime HR: 60
At-bats per HR: 18.9 (29 HRs per 550 at-bats)
The pedigree of the Dominican is Hall of Fame caliber and all the attention was fair. It is now that we are seeing what Vlad Jr. can do. The Dominican is in the middle of the best offensive campaign of his career, with a 1,000 OPS and 90 RBIs to accompany his 36 homers. Before 500 home runs, we should expect him to have a few seasons with at least 50 – 2021 could be his first.
* _Petriello’s Forecast: * _Because of his pedigree and all the attention, it’s easy to believe that the real Vlad Jr. is the one from 2021, who will arrive on Opening Day in 2022 at just 23 years of age. It will also succeed.