The Major League Baseball season starts on Thursday, July 23rd and one of the game’s best power hitters ever may not reach his full potential because of the shortened season. The 60-game baseball season may affect Albert Pujols from getting the most home runs possible in his career.
The 40-year old Los Angeles Angel has the most career home runs out of any active player. Miguel Cabrera has the second most career home runs for active players with 477 and Edwin Encarnacion is third most with 414.
Pujols currently has the sixth most home runs in the history of Major League Baseball with 656. He is four home runs away from Willie Mays and 40 home runs away from Alex Rodriguez.
Pujols is still consistently hitting home runs each year of his career including last year where he ended the season with 23. This begs the question; how much does a 60 game season affect maybe one of the best power hitters in the history of Major League Baseball?
Last season, in the first 60 games Pujols had 12 home runs under his belt. This means if Pujols has a first 60 games like his 2019 season, he would pass Willie Mays in home runs for fifth all time.
According to baseball reference, Pujols averages 38 home runs every 162 game season. 60 games is 37 percent of a 162 game season. 37 percent of 38 would be 14 home runs in one whole 60 game season. If Pujols hits 14 home runs in 2020 and reaches 26 home runs in 2021, he would be tied with Alex Rodriguez for 4th most home runs in Major League Baseball history.
Pujols appeared in 131 of the Angels 162 games in the 2019 season. This means Pujols appeared in just shy of 81 percent of the Angels total games. To play in 80 percent of games this season, Pujols would appear in 48 of the Angels 60 games.
My opinion: Albert Pujols will hit either eight or nine home runs this season. This means he will pass Mays for fifth most career home runs. With eight more home runs Pujols will have 664 and with nine he will have 665. With the shortened season this year, it will be very hard for Pujols to have 700 career home runs.
He is currently 40 home runs below Alex Rodriguez. If Pujols hits nine home runs this season, he would need 31 home runs in 2021 to catch up to Rodriguez. Pujols has not hit 31 home runs since 2016. The chances of Pujols hitting 31 home runs in a full 162 game season again in his career are slim to none.
Pujols will finish his career around the 685 home run range. He will also not pass Rodriguez and be fifth most in career home runs. This is another negative aspect coming for the corona virus. If Pujols had a full 162 game season this year and another one next year; Pujols would have definitely reached 700 total career home runs.
This was written by James A. Paxson. You can follow him on twitter @paxson_jimmie.