Sunday, October 17 2021

With Miguel Cabrera becoming the 28th player to hit 500 career home runs, baseball fans are wondering who the next player to join the club will be.

The closest active player is 41-year-old Nelson Cruz, who has 443 homers in his career. After him are Robinson Cano (334) and Giancarlo Stanton (332), with Mike Trout (310) lurking a few spots behind.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado both should have a shot in the back ends of their careers, each about halfway to 500 with long-term contracts in place with their current teams.

Here’s a look at who the next players to reach 500 homers could be.

Nelson Cruz turned 41 in July.Nelson Cruz turned 41 in July.

Nelson Cruz turned 41 in July.

Nelson Cruz (443 HR – 41 years old): He’s showing no signs of slowing down at 41 and two more seasons with 25-30 home runs seems like a good bet. “Retirement is not on my mind,” Cruz said in February. “My body feels great. My mind is still good, too. So there’s no reason.”

Robinson Cano (334 HR – 38 years old): The second baseman was suspended for the entire 2021 season and his future is unclear. His Hall of Fame candidacy already may be wrecked and while 500 home runs is extremely unlikely, he has 2,624 career hits – putting 3,000 within reach if he can get regular at-bats, perhaps as a designated hitter.

Giancarlo Stanton (332 HR – 31 years old): Stanton has hit for the Yankees – 62 HR in 292 games – but has been unable to stay on the field, limited to 18 games in 2019 and 23 in the 60-game 2020 season. Five hundred is doable if he stays healthy.

Justin Upton (324 HR – 33 years old): Not going to happen, barring a Cruz-esque renaissance. Upton is signed with the Angels through 2022.

Joey Votto (323 HR – 37 years old): Votto has bounced back in 2021 with 25 home runs in 85 games for the Reds and he’s signed for another two seasons – but it’s hard to imagine him coming close.

Mike Trout (310 HR – 30 years old): Anything can happen, but Trout is making a run at GOAT status and seems well on his way to 500 … and beyond.

Further down the road…

Nolan Arenado (260 HR – 30 years old): Leaving Coors Field certainly hurt his odds, but it’s not hard to imagine the third baseman having another five or six 30-homer seasons in his career.

Bryce Harper (255 HR – 28 years old): Once Trout reaches 500, Harper might be the next man up.

Manny Machado (245 HR – 29 years old): With 69 home runs in 324 games, Machado’s power numbers haven’t dipped much since moving to San Diego.

Pete Alonso (97 HR – 26 years old): Certainly speculative, but Alonso was the fastest in history to reach 70 home runs, doing it in just 220 games. Debuting in the majors at 24, the two-time Home Run Derby champ got started a bit later than most of the others on this list, hitting 53 as a rookie in 2019.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 500 home runs: Who will be next MLB player to reach milestone?

Source: Yahoo Sports

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