Consider that while Cabrera is at 451 home runs at age 34, Bill James’ Favorite Toy gives him just a 34-percent chance at reaching 600. In two out of every three futures, something drags him down before he hits another 149 home runs. That’s a good start on your way to being impressed with just how unlikely 600 homers is; it’s hard even if you’re spotted the first 450. The final 25 percent will mess you up.
Think of a great 34-year-old player. Like Cabrera! Think of the sentence eh, if he averages 30 home runs for another five seasons, he’ll get that extra 150 he needs. Then look at the players with five of those seasons after turning 34. There are five of them in baseball history. If you want to change the parameters, and see how many hitters have the quintet of 25-homer seasons that Cabrera needs, the answer is seven.
And if you want to change parameters to include a 30-homer season here, a 25-homer season, a 20-homer season, followed by five 15-homer seasons … I mean, maybe? But you’re digging a pretty deep hole.
There isn’t anyone young on that pace right now, which means there simply aren’t going to be a lot of contenders for the 600-dinger throne. There are just nine active players with even 300 homers, and Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion are the youngest, at 34.
Trumbo was drafted in the 18th round of the 2004 draft as a pitcher, but he appeared in his first pro game in 2005, as a first baseman. I’m guessing either instructional league wasn’t very kind to his pitching, or the Angels knew where he was playing all along.