- The Washington Times - Monday, April 1, 2002

567
BARRY BONDS
Rank:
7 Age: 37 Seasons: 16
Needs to catch Aaron:
188
Hit a home run every:
13.9 at-bats
Best season:
73 (2001)
50+ homer seasons:
1
Needs to average:
37.8 homers for five years, 47.3 for four years or 63 for three years
The lowdown:
Bonds wasn't even in contention one year ago, but his single-season record of 73 homers in 2001 thrust him into the spotlight. With only a few more productive years left in him, though, he'll have to put up huge numbers in the next couple seasons to have a chance. The problem: He never hit more than 49 homers before last year.
Chance to reach 756:
43 percent

450
SAMMY SOSA
Rank:
25 Age: 33 Seasons: 14
Needs to catch Aaron:
306
Hit a home run every:
14.4 at-bats
Best season:
66 (1998)
50+ homer seasons:
4
Needs to average:
38.3 homers for eight years, 43.7 for seven years or 51 for six years.
The lowdown:
Slammin' Sammy is 117 behind Bonds right now, but he's the only player who has proven he can hit homers at a monstrous pace for several seasons in a row (he's the only man in history to hit 60 homers three times). Also, Sosa seems to have a greater love for the game than Bonds, which may cause him to play longer in pursuit of the record.
Chance to reach 756:
47 percent

460
KEN GRIFFEY JR.
Rank:
23 Age: 32 Seasons: 13
Needs to catch Aaron:
296
Hit a home run every:
14.6 at-bats
Best season:
56 (1997, 1998)
50+ homer seasons:
2
Needs to average:
37 homers for eight years, 42.3 for seven years or 49.3 for six years.
The lowdown:
A few years ago, Junior was widely considered the top candidate to catch Aaron (Stats Inc. has his odds at 36 percent in 2001). But injuries and diminished performance since he left Seattle for Cincinnati two years ago have virtually thrown Griffey out of the mix. It's no longer a given that he'll play long enough to get to 756, though he still has time to rebound.
Chance to reach 756
: 10 percent

241

ALEX RODRIGUEZ

Age:
26 Seasons: 8
Needs to catch Aaron:
515
Hit a home run every:
15.6 at-bats
Best season:
52 (2001)
50+ homer seasons:
1
Needs to average:
39.6 homers for 13 years, 42.9 for 12 years or 46.8 for 11 years
The lowdown:
A-Rod has hit the most homers at a young age than anyone else in the running, but he's got such a long way to go that it's difficult to determine whether he can keep the pace up. At the very least, he will certainly break Cal Ripken's record for homers by a shortstop (345).
Chance to reach 756:
27 percent

All percentages from Stats Inc.



Other notable young sluggers

Troy Glaus, 25, 118 homers, 8% chance
Vladimir Guerrero, 26, 170 homers, 6%
Todd Helton, 28, 156 homers, 5%
Manny Ramirez, 29, 277 homers, 5%


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