Reaching 500 career home runs is one of the most significant offensive feats that a player can accomplish. Only 25 men have ever reached this milestone in the history of Major League Baseball. Although it is rare for a player to join the rarified air of the 500 HR Club, it is good to look down the line to try and predict which of MLB’s current young studs have the best chance of getting there.
Out of these young superstars that have fewer than 100 career homers, here are the five who I think have the best chance to get to 500 home runs (in alphabetical order):
Freddie Freeman (ATL)
He is only 22 years old, and he has already shown the ability to hit in the middle of the lineup for a Postseason-caliber team. As he learns more about pitching tendencies, he should be able to put together a long string of 35+ homerun seasons. He could very well develop into one of the game’s premiere first basemen.
Bryce Harper (WSH)
Of all of the players on this list, I think that Harper will have the best overall career, and his power numbers will have a lot to do with that. He is only 19, and his projections and first-year numbers are eerily similar to former 19-year-old outfield superstar prospect that ended up hitting 630 career HRs (Ken Griffey Jr.). Also, he already has tremendous power and he hasn’t even grown into his body or his swing yet. When he finally does, opposing pitchers should watch out.
Mike Moustakas (KC)
ESPN’s Rick Sutcliffe recently visited the Fan Cave and he talked about how impressed he was watching Moustakas during the 2012 Futures Game. He said that he had never been around someone with so much raw power at such an early age. Moustakas has shown tremendous power potential, and he could be the centerpiece to the Royals’ future plans.
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)
The only disappointment that I had from this year’s All-Star Game was not being able to watch Stanton his baseballs in person for the first time in my life (he was injured). He is only 22 and he already has 80 career homer uns. He is a tremendous physical specimen (6’5”, 240 lbs.), and he still has room on his frame for more muscle. He seems poised to develop into the game’s best power hitter, but if he ever ends up playing for the Rockies, he might hit 500 HRs in one season.
Mike Trout (LAA)
Of all of the people on this list, he probably has the least likely chance to reach 500 HRs, but his power numbers have been a welcome surprise to the Angels this season. The crazy thing is that he should get stronger as he ages; so, he could end up developing into a 40/40 type of player. This guy’s ceiling is unbelievably high.
Which young players do you think will end up joining the 500 HR Club? Tweet your picks to @MLBFanCave.