Active Players with the Best Shot at Reaching 600 HR

Mandatory Credit: (MARK J. TERRILL/AP)

With Albert Pujols becoming the ninth player in MLB history to hit 600 home runs, it’s time to start thinking about who will inevitably become the 10th. This can obviously get tricky, considering how rare of a feat it is. This list has been broken up into three sections. One for players that have a high career HR total, but are too old to reach 600, one for players who have shown great home run potential but haven’t been in the majors long enough to be considered, and one for players that have a realistic chance.

A very notable home run hitter that doesn’t fit into any of these three categories is Giancarlo Stanton.

It just would feel wrong to not at least mention his name with a topic like this, but while he’s not too old or too young, he also doesn’t have a legitimate shot. He should have a legitimate shot, but he doesn’t. While he has 50-plus HR potential, Stanton just can’t stay on the field, and longevity is a necessity in reaching 600.

The “Father Time” Section
Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran each have over 400 home runs, which obviously is extremely impressive, but the two are 38 and 40 years old respectively. Beltre will have a shot at 500, needing 54 more, and Beltran likely will end up in the mid-400’s best case, considering he’s at 428.

The “Not So Fast” Section
We’ve seen Aaron Judge hit some of the hardest-hit home runs ever, we’ve seen Miguel Sano hit them at a ridiculous pace, and we’ve seen Joey Gallo do both. Judge [18 HR] and Gallo [16 HR] are first and second in the big leagues in homers this year, and Sano [13 HR] is right there with them. For Sano, he’ll need to strikeout less if he wants a good shot at 600. He had 178 k’s last year in just 116 games. Gallo has a similar issue, but also needs to hit for a higher average [career .190 hitter]. Judge, who looks like the possible AL MVP, might be the safest bet of the bunch due to his size/strength combo and his production so far. Each of these players have less than three seasons of MLB service time, so we’ll need to see more before jumping to conclusions.

The “Just Right” Section
Miguel Cabrera, who sat at 446 HR entering this year, is second behind Albert Pujols on the active home run leaderboard. Amongst 600 HR Club members, that would put him ahead of Jim Thome [423], Barry Bonds [411] and just behind Willy Mays[453] for career HR entering their age-34 season. Mike Trout is already closing in on 200 career big flies and is just 25, Bryce Harper is about 50 behind Trout, but is a year younger, and Nolan Arenado has put up back-to-back 40-plus homer seasons with a trifecta looming. Also add in Kris Bryant, who will likely reach 100 career homers before the end of this season in what is just his third year.

What needs not be forgotten is that with every generation of major league talent comes players with this caliber of home run potential. Yet even with all the talent that has been seen on a baseball field, just nine players have hit 600 or more home runs. It’s more likely that none of the players listed above make it than it is one will, but maybe this generation of talent can surprise us.

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