Twins' Nelson Cruz hits 400th career home run and 40th of the season, putting him in special company
The veteran slugger is doing something that few other players have ever done
Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz entered Sunday a home run away from two important round numbers: his 40th of the season and his 400th of his career. As the headline suggests, Cruz indeed reach those marks against the Kansas City Royals.
Take a look:
Cruz came into Sunday ranked ninth in home runs. It's worth noting that he had appeared in only 115 games due to injury. The next lowest amount of games played by those with more home runs than Cruz was 130, belonging to Christian Yelich, who is now out for the year.
More importantly, Cruz is the 57th player to ever top the 400-homer mark, and the 28th to do so dating back to 2005 -- his debut year. Cruz, of course, was a late bloomer who didn't record more than 500 plate appearances in a season until he was 28 years old. He's now a home run away from tying Mike Schmidt for the 10th-most homers after turning 28 in big-league history.
One more tidbit worth knowing about Cruz: He's just the third player ever with a 40 homer season after turning 38. The others are Barry Bonds (twice), Darrell Evans, and Hank Aaron. That's some good company, and it doesn't seem like Cruz is ready to slow down.
Cruz on the year had hit .300/.383/.624 (161 OPS+) in his first 115 games.
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