Alex Rodriguez is one of the best hitters in the history of Major League Baseball. In his 21 seasons in the bigs, he has racked up over 3,000 hits, 2,047 RBI and 684 career home runs. While the seasoned Rodriguez certainly has his better days behind him, he is still being productive in the Yankee line up every day in the DH role. But the question here is more along the lines of a personal stat as opposed to a team goal.
Can Rodriguez break the home run record of 762 set by Barry Bonds?
Since breaking into the Majors at 18 in 1994, A-Rod has been a star. He has carried his team and given them the best chance possible to win games. His three MVP awards and World Series ring in 2009 are the most notable items on a long list of accomplishments over his career. But on the top of that list, Rodriguez would like to add All-Time Home Run King. Rodriguez is only 78 home runs behind Bonds, and 79 more would give him the record. The 40-year-old does not have many seasons left in him, and time is the only factor he has against him.
For arguments sake, lets say he plays through his age-43 season, giving him four more years playing baseball. Rodriguez would have to average 19.75 home runs a year in order to claim the home run title. If he stays healthy and plays that much longer, it’s certainly doable. Rodriguez will likely become the fourth player ever to reach 700 home runs in mid-2016, and could pass Babe Ruth before the All Star break in 2017. This is all based on him hitting 20 home runs a year, and those dates could easily change depending on his performance. Rodriguez just joined Hank Aaron as the only players to have 16 30-homer seasons, and if he duplicates 2015 next year, then his chances of passing Bonds only increase.
Rodriguez has averaged 32.5 home runs a year over the course of his major league career. Aside from 2012 and 1997, every year that Rodriguez has played 100+ games in; he has hit at least 30 home runs. If he puts up his average of 32.5 home runs a year, he will pass Babe Ruth by the end of 2016, and be the new home run champ in early 2018. There’s an outside shot, he could even become the first member of the 800 home run club if he puts up 30 home runs for the next four years. Now a number of factors have to take place in order for him to pass Bonds. Rodriguez has to stay healthy, and stay in the DH spot. The 162-game suspension handed down by the league for use of PED’s might actually benefit Rodriguez in the long run. He looks rejuvenated in 2015 after spending the entire 2014 season away from baseball. A-Rod is signed by the Yankees through the 2017 season, and it will be interesting to see if they Yankees re-sign him, or if he goes for the record playing for another team.
There’s no questioning that Alex Rodriguez is one of the best talents to ever come across Major League Baseball. From his dazzling plays in the field to his monstrous home runs, for two plus decades he has produced consistently. In my opinion, Alex Rodriguez will eventually be the home run champion of baseball. As for the Hall of Fame, I believe he is deserving, but that up to the BBWA and a story for another day.