Mike Trout Has a Real Chance of Breaking Barry Bonds’ All-Time Home Run Record

As the 2020 season approaches, Mike Trout looks to have another great season for the Angels. While the team has failed to taste postseason success since the center fielder’s debut, it’s through no fault of Trout’s; he’s been the NBA’s best player for a while now. 

Trout’s success at the plate has been so prolific that he may have a shot at breaking Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record before his career is over. Can Trout get there?

Mike Trout’s MLB success so far

Aside from being the best player in baseball, Trout has quite a penchant for the long ball. The complete hitter hits for average as well as power. Here’s what he’s accomplished so far as a member of the Angels: 

  • 285 home runs
  • .305 batting average
  • 752 runs batted in
  • 903 runs scored
  • 72.5 WAR
  • Three-time AL MVP
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Eight-time All-Star

Baseball-Reference compiles similarity scores to provide context for a player’s career. Here are the players Trout compares favorably to through age 27: 

  • Mickey Mantle
  • Frank Robinson
  • Ken Griffey, Jr. 
  • Hank Aaron
  • Miguel Cabrera
  • Eddie Matthews

This list includes some of the game’s best home-run hitters ever, including one with specific significance. 

Trout’s home-run trajectory

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels looks on before a game
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels | Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

One of the players on the list of Trout’s highest similarity scores is former home-run king, Hank Aaron. Trout may join him as one of MLB history’s all-time home-run record holders. But how likely is it that Trout catches Bonds? 

There’s good news and bad news. First, the good news: Trout has more homers at this age than Bonds, Aaron, and Babe Ruth. These three have held the home run record in the past at some point. The bad news? Trout needs 477 home runs to topple Bonds. This means to catch Bonds by the time he turns 37 in 10 seasons, he needs to average roughly 47 home runs per season.

That’s a tall order, even for a player like Trout. There’s no telling what kind of injuries he may experience. He’s also likely to decline at some point, even if it’s a slow decline. Father Time catches everyone. Still, Trout has as good a shot as anyone. But is he the only player with a shot at Bonds? 

Who else has a shot at breaking Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record?

Trout has far and away the best chance at overtaking Bonds. But is he the only one with a chance? A few who may have an outside chance. Here are two sluggers who, with some luck, may be able to become the next home run king. 

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols is the current active leader with 656 home runs. Despite being within one hundred of Bonds, it’s unlikely he’ll hang on long enough to break the record. It seems like he’s nearing the end of his MLB career.

But if Pujols can get one more short-term contract after his current deal ends following the 2021 season, he may be able to eke out the record.  It’s a long shot, though. 

Giancarlo Stanton

Sitting at 308 home runs, Giancarlo Stanton needs to pick up the pace. He’s had a few injury-plagued seasons with the Yankees. If he can put up even a fraction of the totals he had during in his most prolific seasons with the Miami Marlins, he may have a legitimate shot at catching up with Bonds. 

Even if either of these athletes did unseat Bonds, they’d likely just be keeping the throne warm for Trout. The odds are fairly high that Trout can catch Bonds if he keeps up this pace and stays healthy.

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