What are the odds that Alex Rodriguez will catch Hank Aaron in homeruns? The old saying is that records are meant to be broken, but in baseball, that’s usually not the case. There’s some records that we will likely never see broken in our lifetime like Cal Ripken’s Iron Man streak of 2632 games and the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak of 56 consecutive games.
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that the Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest homerun hitters ever. Rodriguez recently hit his 599th homerun of his career placing him seventh on the all time homerun list behind Sammy Sosa who has 609.
A-Rod in all likelihood will catch slamming Sammy this season and be sixth on the all time homerun list behind Griffey Jr by the end of this season. Barry Bonds leads the list with 762 just ahead of Hank Aaron at 755. But could A-Rod catch them all? Even though Barry Bonds has only 7 more homeruns than Aaron, I just can’t see anyone catching Bonds. Those last 8 homers Bonds hit ended his career.
Let’s do the math. A-Rod is currently 34 years old, and in fairly good health, aside from last year’s hip injury A-Rod has had only minor injuries to speak of. Given his age and the fact that over the last decade of his career he hasn’t hit less than 30 homeruns in a season, A-Rod could be in the rarest of company when it’s all said and done. Let’s say that A-Rod plays until he’s 40 like Griffey did, you have to expect his numbers to decline with age, but realistically speaking, he’s definitely got a shot at catching Babe Ruth to take the title as the greatest Yankee homerun hitter of all time. If A-Rod can average 30 homeruns or more for the next 4 seasons he’ll pass Ruth.
Right now Rodriguez is having one of his lowest homerun output seasons with only 16 homeruns to date. But A-Rod has the ability to hit bombs in bunches, and he will likely finish up with around 30 dingers this year. The other thing that A-Rod has going for him is that he’s surrounded and protected in the Yankee lineup by power hitters. Big Tex and the emergence of Robinson Cano have allowed A-Rod to have a lackluster season by his standards, and the Yankees haven’t missed a beat. There’s no longer any pressure on A-Rod to hit 40 plus homeruns for the Yankees to win games. The Yankee pitching has also become extremely strong and the Yankees have been winning more tight one run ball games.
Under these conditions I’d be willing to bet that A-Rod not only passes Ruth, but makes a run at Hank Aaron before his career comes to an end, barring some mistress sex scandal of course.