Tyler Colvin, Mike Stanton and 7 Sluggers Who May End Their Careers With 600+ HR
The magic number is 762, set by the great Barry Bonds.
He banged out 762 home runs over the course of 21 phenomenal seasons. And as soon as Bonds hit 756, baseball players all over the world aspired to be the one guy who "caught Bonds" the way Bonds "caught Hammerin Hank Aaron."
While 762 may be a long, and I mean very long shot for almost everyone, there are a few chasers still going.
Many say Alex Rodriguez who sits at 35 years of age and has 613 homers will be the guy to do it. But he is going to need 150 more and how much longer can he keep up his 30 a year pace?
The next closest active guy is Jim Thome and he's over 40 years-old, so he's not exactly pushing Bonds.
Albert Pujols is only 30 and has 408 dingers over the course of his career, but still, that's 354 more, which would mean over 35 a year until he's 40...not looking likely.
So who will ever even come close to Bonds, with or without steroids? Probably no one.
But I feel that their are seven distinct young stars in the MLB who might have a shot at hitting at least 600, if not the famed 762.
Four are current major leaguers, and three are up-and-comers in the minor leagues.
Ike Davis, 1B, New York Mets
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2010 Stats: .264; 19 HR; 71 RBI
Granted, batting .264 with a mere 19 homers doesn't wow anyone, even for a rookie, but the raw power is there, especially considering 16 of the dingers came against rightys.
He had over 500 at-bats, so while I believe that he will pick it up if he keeps getting the starts, it's definitely a stretch. He's 23 and is playing on a very underachieving Mets team.
He is definitely a core guy to build around and whether or not 600 bombs is in his future, he will be a very good 1B for years to come.
Tyler Colvin, LF, Chicago Cubs
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He's already 25, and was only a rookie this past season so with a mere 20 home runs in his career, 600 seems a long shot.
But the power was there last season and he only bat in 258 at-bats which makes the seemingly average 20 HR more impressive. He's also lefty, which is nice, and he bat .254 last year.
The Cubs think this kid, along with Starlin Castro, are their future and they're right.
Colvin's contact will improve and his power will continue to shoot up.
The odds of 600 are slim but who knows how long he will play, and I love his potential.
Jason Heyward, RF, Atlanta Braves
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He didn't win the NL ROY award but easily could have.
Heyward splashed onto the scene in his 2010 rookie year at the age of 21 with 18 HR including one on his opening day against the Cubs, and he did that in only 142 games.
He had decent a average in 2010, pounding out a .277 avg.
He appeared injury-prone last year, finding himself on the DL too frequently but if he can avoid the injuries, then the raw power is certainly there for long powerful career.
A positive for him is that he can hit well against whoever he is facing.
Based on an almost 3:1 ratio of right-handers faced to left-handers, he hit 12 bombs against the righties and six against the left's, a pretty even split.
He hit an even nine HR at home and away appeared to be better during day games, hitting seven home HR with sunlight while playing in less than half of how many he played at night.
The kid has the strength and the power, if he stays off the DL and is able to get his bat on the ball, it will sail a very long way.
Mike Stanton, RF, Florida Marlins
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Rawest power in the major leagues, hands down. He can hit the ball a mile if he ever actually makes good wood.
He bat a mere .259 over the course of his first 100 games as a major leaguer, but popped 22 home runs in that amount of time.
That's a pace of 35 in a year, as a rookie.
He's only 21 and all signs point to him growing into a fantastic power hitter, while improving on his contact. At his current pace it will take him roughly 17 years to get to 600. And that number only figures to go down.
I don't know how this kid fell to the second round but he is a gem and a steal, especially for a Marlins team who loves to trade away All-Star power hitters (see Dan Uggla, Miguel Cabrera, Jorge Cantu..etc).
He's going to continue to flourish, especially in the Marlins new, more hitter friendly ballpark for years to come.
Jerry Sands, 1B/RF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers Prospect Jerry Sands
Jerry Sands is a 23-year-old prospect in the Dodgers system.
He's spent time in center, right, at 1B and at 3B over the course of his three-year minor league career. He showed signs of power in 2009, smacking 19 homers in the Rookie and Single-A leagues.
But in 2010 he really took off and put his name amongst the top power prospects of today. Sands knocked 35 balls out of the park bouncing between Single-A and Double-A.
Those are phenomenal stats considering he played in only 137 games. He hit .301 but that's an average for both leagues, he only hit .270 in Double-A, while tallying almost exactly half of his home runs there (17).
Scouts think this kid has what it takes to be a major power hitter, and he will fit nicely into a third and cleanup spot in any lineup.
Brandon Belt, 1B/OF, San Francisco Giants
Brandon Belt, a corner infielder who has spent time at the corners in the outfield as well, is a top prospect for the San Francisco Giants.
Belt belted 23 home runs in 2010 bouncing between Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A.
He's 22 and appears on the fast track to MLB stardom.
He has put the bat on the ball quite nicely batting .352, but that's even better when you consider he hit a fairly dismal .229 with a mere four home runs in Triple-A over the course of 13 games.
Granted his Triple-A stats show he wasn't ready for the big leagues last year, with an of-season to improve, expect a mid-season call-up at worst.
If Belt continues to Belt homers and maintain his steady power pace, expect his name atop the HR leader-boards for years to come.
Cody Johnson, LF, Atlanta Braves
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Pure power. Plain and simple, that's what this kid has.
Johnson is arguably the best power hitter in all of the minor leagues and he is only 22. He's been hitting this way since he was 17 and playing for the Braves rookie affiliate.
He clawed as high as Double-A in 2010 and hit a total of 18 home runs. Not a ton but he had never faced Double-A competition before that.
In 2009, while in the A+ leagues for over 122 games, Johnson crushed 32 home runs, which would be tops in the majors.
He hits insanely well for power but contact struggles continue averaging .243 throughout five years in the minors.
That being said, since his average is so low, it's rather impressive how many times he sends a ball out of the yard.
Cody Johnson is by far the top 600 home run threat we have in the minors and in my mind competes with Mr. Stanton of the Marlins for the top overall threat.