If everything goes according to plan, Alex Rodriguez will surpass Barry Bonds as the all-time leader in home runs in baseball.

However, there is a small chance that something catastrophic might go wrong. Is there any other active player who, after he does it, has a realistic chance of reaching 784 (Rodriguez’s projected total) and beyond? If so, who is it?

How many home runs does albert pujols have?

Pujols is widely considered to be the best player of his generation as well as one of the best players in the history of baseball.

He hits for average and power, fields his position well, and is a leader both on and off the field. He is an all-around great player. Since he already has a World Series championship under his belt, he has not been affected negatively by either the steroid scandal in baseball or any other problems.

In a world that is rife with contention, Albert Pujols has been able to rise above it all and establish himself as baseball’s Mr. Perfect.

No matter how quickly he is currently climbing the ladder, it is unlikely that he will ever be its career home run champion. It is highly unlikely that he will finish second, third, or even fourth on the list of all-time scorers. Pujols will finish his career in fifth place, slightly ahead of Willie Mays, despite the fact that he will struggle in the later stages of his career and fall short of hitting 700 home runs.

Pujols unquestionably possesses the skills, the power, and the greatness necessary to succeed. He possesses all of the necessary tools, and he ought to be given the chance to compete with Bonds and Rodriguez.


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However, he is powerless against the one adversary that will inevitably destroy him, just as it has destroyed an infinite number of others: Father Time. Pujols has had an incredible career, but there is simply not enough time left for him to reach that revered milestone.

He is 31 years old and already has 408 home runs under his belt; he is still 354 home runs short of Barry Bonds’ record and 376 home runs short of Alex Rodriguez’s projected total. Does Albert Pujols still have eight to ten years left in his career, of which only four will be spent in his prime, and does he still have enough time to nearly double the number of home runs he has already amassed? That is not the case, as evidenced by history.

Age 35 has been shown to be a significant year in the careers of professional baseball players. It is common practice to divide a player’s career into three distinct phases: the younger years (beginning with their debut and continuing through age 26), the prime years (ages 27 to 34), and the decline years (ages 35 and older) (35 and beyond).

The top 20 career home run scorers in baseball have a combined total of 11,941 home runs to their credit. They also hit 78 percent of those home runs, which is 9,347 of them, before the season in which they turned 35 years old.

After that pivotal year, only three players in the history of the sport have even topped 200. (Bonds, 284; Hank Aaron, 245; Rafael Palmeiro, 208).

After the age of 35, no player has ever improved their overall home run production while playing in an era that did not allow the use of performance-enhancing drugs. (Babe Ruth did, despite the fact that his yearly average up to the age of 35 is skewed due to the fact that he spent his first five seasons primarily as a pitcher, and only came to the plate a combined 678 times.)


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This year, Alex Rodriguez will turn 35 years old and he will enter the year with 613 career home runs. Since he turned 31 years old, his production has been on a steady decline, regardless of the cause. His career can be broken down into five-year trends, which demonstrates exactly what we learn from history. First, he is very good, scoring 38.6 home runs per season on average.

Then, he is great, bringing the average number of home runs scored in a season up to 48. Finally, he is very good once more, scoring 38.6 home runs per season for the next five seasons in a row.

Rodriguez’s production begins at 33.6 home runs per season, reaches a high of 46.6 home runs per season, and then begins falling again, reaching as low as 31.6 home runs per season as the steady, inevitable decline begins. If we break it down further into three-year trends, we can see that Rodriguez’s production begins at 33.6 home runs per season, reaches a high of 46.6 home runs per season, and then begins falling again.

Following the same patterns that Rodriguez has established for himself, he will see his three-year arcs fall from 31.6 to 30.9 to 21.4 before finally finishing off his career with the lowest total of his career, 14, in his final season (2017).

This will be the case because Rodriguez has set the same trends for himself. He will have surpassed Bonds one or two years earlier, but his score will fall short of 800. The world record set by Sadahaur Oh of 868 points in the Japanese league is not in danger of being broken.

At the age of 31, Albert Pujols will begin his 11th season playing in the major leagues of baseball. He currently has a career total of 408 home runs. That is a difference of 56 points compared to Rodriguez’s record when he first started playing in the year he turned 31.


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The three-year trends of Albert Pujols are also comparable, beginning with an average of 41.3 home runs scored per season during his first three years in the majors and peaking at 45.3. He hasn’t hit the season high of 57 like Rodriguez has, but he also hasn’t hit the season low of 23 like Rodriguez has. Pujols has been more consistent as of late, and he should continue to be so, but even he can’t beat the passage of time.

This day will come sooner than any of us realize, and it will be the beginning of the decline that has been predicted by all of the other players who have participated in the game.

Rodriguez’s decline may have been accelerated by mitigating factors, such as steroids and the degenerative hip problem he had surgery to repair a few seasons ago. Pujols may or may not face the same challenges in his career as Rodriguez did, but it is possible that he will.

Following Rodriguez’s career decline rate and projecting Pujols’ may not be completely accurate, but it is worthwhile to compare Pujols against his contemporaries rather than against players from decades earlier, such as Willie Mays, who hit only 134 of his 660 career home runs after turning 35, or Frank Robinson, who hit 111 of his 586 career home runs after age 34. And despite all of the injuries that Rodriguez has endured, he has not seen a complete decline in his production like Ken Griffey Jr. has seen as a result of his struggles.

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