Be Prepared To Wait For The Next 500th Home Run or 300th Win
Without counting steroid speculation, a player who hit 500 home runs or recorded 300 wins was a lock for the Hall of Fame. The last pitcher to record his 300th win was Randy Johnson in 2009, while last season David Ortiz was the latest player to join the 500 home run club.
If you look down the all-time leaders list for both wins and home runs, there isn’t much coming up the pipeline. I’ll start with wins, where it is very possible we may never see another 300 game winner. The active wins leader is no other than Big Sexy himself, Bartolo Colon. Colon, 43, has 228 wins in his 19-year career. When you look down the list, the likelihood of seeing another 300 game winner looks more and more bleak. Let’s take a look at the top 20 active pitchers win list to get a true grasp on this.
|Player||Career Wins||Age/Years In League|
The only player on this list who has a chance is Clayton Kershaw, but even the great left-hander has the odds against him. If Kershaw could somehow repeat his brilliant first nine years for the Dodgers the exact same way, it would leave him at 250 wins at 37 years old. No one is hoping Kershaw slows down or gets injured, but the chances of him repeating his success or improving moving forward is slim to none. When you look at the numbers and combine that with how cautious franchises are of players’ pitch counts, it is pretty likely we will never see a 300 game winner again.
The 500 home run club will likely add a new member in the next two to three years in Miguel Cabrera. Miggy currently has 435 home runs so we can pencil him in for over 500 home runs, barring any major injury. After Miggy, there’s no one in the near future to envision hitting 500 home runs. Let’s take a look at the next 12 players after Cabrera.
|Player||Career Home Runs||Age/Years in League|
It looks like Father Time will block all of these sluggers’ hopes of joining the 500 home run club. If you look down the list a little more, I would point out Chris Davis and Giancarlo Stanton. Davis, 30 years old with nine years of service, should be noticed just because of his 227 home runs. Davis is not even halfway to 500 and is already 30 years old, so the odds are against him.
Stanton is really the only active player besides Cabrera with a legit shot at 500. Stanton stands at 206 home runs at the age of 26, so he definitely has a great chance. The one concern with Stanton is his nagging injuries, as he has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a groin injury. We can only imagine how many home runs Stanton might hit in one fully healthy season.
Do we have to lower our standards of baseball immortality? That is a question the baseball writers may have to face in the near future, as the 300 win club and 500 home runs club may be at full capacity forever.