After having a poor 2013 season with the Los Angeles Angels many were wondering if Albert Pujols would make a comeback or if his career was slowly moving in the downhill direction. Pujols has definitely proven his doubters wrong this year. He started out the 2014 season with 492 home runs. He joined the coveted and exclusive 500 home run club on April 22nd against the Washington Nationals, hitting both numbers 499 and 500 in the same game.
He has gone yard quite a few times since then, including Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, catapulting himself into a tie for 25th on the list of all-time home run leaders with Eddie Murray. The difference is that Murray took 21 seasons to become the 25th player to join the 500 home run club, it took Pujols just 14. Pujols is only 34 and, barring injury, he should have at least three to six good years left in him.
Pujols is currently batting .269 with 14 home runs and he seems to be speeding up, not slowing down. To tie Mark McGwire for tenth place on the all-time list, Pujols, who now sits at 504 career home runs, would need to hit 79 more. To accomplish that feat in the same number of seasons as McGwire (16), Pujols would have to do it by the end of the 2016 season.
Given Pujols age, he certainly has the potential to crack into the top ten on the home run list, quite possible by 2016. In theory and based upon his past success, Pujols will be able to join the top ten if he remains healthy for the next few years. Over the course of 14 seasons in the big leagues Pujols has averaged 41 homes runs a season. If he plays until the age of 38, he would only have to hit half the number of his career average each year to reach the top ten.
That is truly a remarkable and attainable statistic for the nine time All-Star and three time league MVP. Despite his one “bad” year in 2013 in which he still hit better than the average player by compiling a total of 17 home runs, Pujols remains and will go down in history as one of the game’s greatest hitters.