We do not know precisely what number of homers Aaron Choose will find yourself hitting this season. However we all know one factor for certain: he arrived at 50 years outdated.
Choose’s fiftieth homer, hit by the Angels’ Ryan Tepera on Aug. 31 at Angel Stadium, made him the primary participant to hit the 50 homer mark since Pete Alonso did it in 2019. It is the second time that the choose reaches 50 – he was 52 in 2017 – and, the best way he goes (he’s 60as chances are you’ll know), it appears seemingly that it will not be his final.
However it’s price remembering how tough it’s to realize this quantity. Solely 11 gamers have executed so since Barry Bonds set the house run document with 73 lengthy balls in 2001: Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Davis, Jose Bautista, Alex Rodriguez (twice), Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, David Ortiz, Andruw Jones, Jim Thome, Alonso and Choose (twice). Solely three of those gamers are energetic.
However maybe, with Choose, Alonso and Stanton combining to do it 4 instances up to now six seasons, we’re coming into one other growth interval for 50-homer seasons. In any case, within the 9 years previous this era, there had solely been two. If we’re certainly about to have a 50 homer hitting gold rush, who’re our almost definitely candidates to hit the quantity for the primary time?
Listed here are the highest seven, ranked:
This one would not look like a giant stretch, as he was 48 final 12 months. That mentioned, as strong a 12 months as Guerrero put up in 2022, it was a particular setback for him at residence plate. He simply hit the 30 residence run mark on Wednesday, and his OPS is greater than 150 factors decrease than final 12 months. It seems to be extra like a blip than something, although – one thing we take into account 15 years from now to be an apparent statistical anomaly. If I needed to decide the subsequent individual to get to 50, I might go together with him. Simply not this 12 months.
2. Yordan Alvarez — Astros
Whole HR 2022: 37 | Profession Excessive: 37 (2022)
This ridiculously highly effective Astros slugger might have made a critical run at quantity this 12 months if he hadn’t missed a little bit of time by way of harm. Well being could also be key for Alvarez, particularly as he enters his prime. He’s, in spite of everything, solely 25 years outdated. (He will not flip 26 till subsequent June.) Whereas Alvarez has spent quite a lot of time in left discipline this 12 months, he might be part of Ortiz (2006) as the one participant to hit a minimum of 50 homers in a single. season whereas recording the vast majority of their video games at DH.
Nicely, OK, that is clearly not taking place this 12 months. It may be tough for him subsequent 12 months, provided that he’ll nonetheless have a number of video games left on his 80-game suspension in the beginning of the season. (The quantity relies on how far the Padres have come within the playoffs, in the event that they make it.) However make no mistake: Tatis is a participant with monstrous energy. Bear in mind, he had 42 NL-leading homers final 12 months whereas solely taking part in 130 video games…and he was 22! Tatis can also be beneath contract till Albert Pujols turns 54, so, uh, he ought to have loads of alternatives. In fact, proper now could be a tough time for him and his relationship along with his workforce. However that is the factor about being younger – you may at all times change issues.
4. Bryce Harper — Phillies
Whole HR 2022: 18 | Profession Excessive: 42 (2015)
Certain Harper is already 50, proper? However in actuality, he solely hit greater than 40 as soon as, in his 2015 NL MVP Award season. However he will have loads of alternatives to throw baseballs into the evening at Residents Financial institution Park, so long as he can keep wholesome. (At all times an issue for gamers approaching their thirties, like Harper is about to. Apart from, how can Bryce Harper be 30?) Harper is harm that he has a such a discerning eye, however it’s also possible to see him, like Albert Pujols earlier than him, focusing extra on energy as he will get older. Harper has settled into such sustained excellence that you simply nearly neglect how insanely proficient he’s, however as he modifies as a participant as he ages you may see it manifesting in additional energy , Not much less.
5. Mike Trout — Angels
Whole HR 2022: 36 | Profession Excessive: 45 (2019)
No, Trout did not both. That 2019 marketing campaign was additionally, not coincidentally, his final wholesome season, though “wholesome” is relative – he solely performed 134 video games that 12 months. (Final 12 months he performed over 140 video games? 2016!) However Trout has topped the 50 residence run this 12 months, exhibiting the facility is extra current than ever. Trout can also be working lower than he ever has earlier than, and he could quickly transition to an outdoor nook place, so he ought to (hopefully) be capable to keep a bit more healthy. Which comes first: Trout hitting 50 residence runs or Trout successful his first playoff sport?
6. Shohei Ohtani — Angels
Whole HR 2022: 34 | Profession Excessive: 46 (2021)
Why not, proper? If Ohtani goes to get a little bit higher yearly, like he has for the previous two years, he might break Bonds’ residence run document and Bob Gibson’s ERA document! It is absurd, after all, however Ohtani’s uncooked energy stays on par with anybody else within the sport. You typically surprise what he might do as a hitter if he wasn’t not a pitcher and will solely give attention to the offensive finish. Fifty homers appear effectively inside attain for Ohtani, contemplating he hit 46 final 12 months. Though, uh, you possibly can say the identical factor about what would occur if he targeted on his pitching. That is why it is so nice that he continues to do each.
It is clear at this level that Acuña isn’t absolutely recovered from his knee surgical procedure. He would not run in addition to he used to and his energy has been diminished. He has fewer homers in additional video games than earlier than the harm in 2021 (24 in 82 video games). However you’d assume that this upcoming low season relaxation would do the trick for him, and he needs to be keen to start out 2023. Additionally it is assumed that as Acuña advances into his twenties, he’ll fly rather less typically, which — mixed with the truth that he now not has to patrol the middle discipline — ought to permit him to remain more healthy and give attention to his photographs. And we all know what occurs when he is wholesome and hitting. Acuña hit 41 residence runs in 2019 and would have had extra if not for final season’s harm. He undoubtedly has 50 homers in him.