Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols entered Sunday's home game against the Astros (HOU-LAA GameTracker) with 657 career home runs. That places him sixth on the all-time list and just three behind the luminous Willie Mays.
Well, make that 658 and two behind Willie Mays as of this third inning grand slam off Josh James:
That's also Pujols' 15th grand slam of his career. Hey, Pujols is 40 years old and very much in his decline phase, but if on a 2-0 count you leave a fastball there -- even a 95 mph fastball -- he'll make you pay. That one traveled 437 feet and left the bat at 107.1 mph. Of the 23 home runs he hit in 2019, just two registered a higher exit velocity and just one traveled farther. The overall production hasn't been there for Pujols, but he's still very much capable of running into one.
As noted, he needs just two more home runs to tie Mays for fifth place on the all-time list. Speaking of which, here is that current career home runs list:
- Barry Bonds, 762
- Hank Aaron, 755
- Babe Ruth, 714
- Alex Rodriguez, 696
- Willie Mays, 660
- Albert Pujols, 658
Barring injury or a shutdown of the season, Pujols should pass Mays in 2020. He's under contract through the 2021 season, but given his ongoing decline and the uncertainties surrounding the game it seems unlikely that he'll catch A-Rod on the above list or get to 700. Wherever he winds up, Pujols -- a future first-ballot Hall of Famer -- will rightly be remembered as one of the great right-handed hitters in baseball history.