Last week Mike Trout, still only 24, hit his 150th career home run off Dallas Keuchel.
Trout accomplished this through his first 3,087 plate appearances. 150 career home runs and only 24 years old, Trout has a pretty good shot at the magic number of 500 career home runs. Say what you want about PED users ruining the sanctity of the 500 home run club, but it still is an elite club dominated by all-time greats.
In order to add another element to how impressive Mike Trout is, let’s take a look at how Trout lines up with every member of the 500 HR club through roughly their first 3,087 PA. Active players are in bold and stats are as of May 31st.
|Player||Age||Plate Appearances||Home Runs||Career HR Total|
|Ken Griffey Jr.||23||3088||130||630|
First, no matter how great any player today is and will be, it amazes me how great Babe Ruth was. I wish I could have had the honor to watch him play. Almost 200 home runs through his first 3,087 plate appearances is about a home run every 15 plate appearances. Include the fact Ruth was a pitcher and played part-time for the first five years of his career, and his numbers are even more staggering.
Now back to Mike Trout. As you can see Trout is ahead of some pretty impressive names, including the all-time home run king Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Ken Griffey Jr. Hank Aaron, the same age as Trout through his first 3,087 plate appearances, is behind Trout by 12 home runs. Aaron and Trout are two different types of hitters, but it is still quite a feat to be ahead of the man who eventually passed Babe Ruth to become the all-time home run king for 33 years.
One player whose age and home runs through 3,087 PA closely match is a player to whom many compare Trout: Mickey Mantle.
Both players through their first 3,087 plate appearances were 24 years old, and the home run total is just about even with Trout hitting 150 and Mantle hitting 145 home runs. Unfortunately injuries to his knee took away the power and ability for Mantle to hit more than the 536 career home runs. Hoping the same does not happen to Mike Trout, how high can he go on the career home run list?
Using Baseball Reference’s 162 game average, let’s try and arbitrarily project Trout’s career home run total. Currently, Trout is hitting a home run every 20.4 plate appearances. Assuming Trout reaches his 162 game average of 715 plate appearances, he would finish with 35 home runs this season and a career total of 174 home runs.
Now let’s assume he continues this pace through 2024, his age 32 season, and hits on average 35 home runs. Of course he probably will hit more than 35 in some seasons over the course of the next eight seasons, but on average we will assume it is 35. That leaves Trout with 450 career home runs.
If Trout were to play five more seasons and retire at 37 years old, having averaged 25 home runs a season over the course of his final five seasons, he would finish his career with 575 home runs. Right now that would place him 11th, but assuming his teammate Albert Pujols passes Mark McGwire for 10th on the all-time list and Miguel Cabrera finishes with more than 575, Trout would finish 12th on the all-time home run list.
Carl Triano is a contributor to Beyond the Box Score.