When Will Didi Pass Bonds?

Last night, the greatest player in baseball had a starring role at Angel Stadium. Mike Trout, the second-best player, watched helplessly as Didi Gregorius launched a 10th inning go-ahead home run to give the Yankees a 4-3 win. It was Didi’s 10th blast of the season, tying him with Trout for the major league lead.

Even the most fanatical supporters of Sir Didi could never predict his incredible power surge this season. When he was acquired from Arizona before the 2015 season, he had only 13 career home runs in 183 games. During his first three years in The Bronx, he blasted 9, 20, and 25 long balls, setting a new Yankee record for home runs by a shortstop in a season.

Now, he looks like he might break that record before the All-Star Break. In fact, with 10 in 25 games, he’s on pace to finish 2018 with 65 home runs! That is a clearly unsustainable rate, but it makes for some fun projections while it lasts.

If he should actually finish the year with 65 bombs (he won’t), his average increase would be 18.6 home runs per season with the Yankees. If he continues that even more unsustainable rate of growth, here’s what the rest of his career will look like:

Age Season HR Career HR
25 2015 9 22
26 2016 20 42
27 2017 25 67
28 2018 65 132
29 2019 83 215
30 2020 102 317
31 2021 121 438
32 2022 139 577
33 2023 158 735
34 2024 176 911

Let’s unpack this a little bit:

  • In September, 2019, Gregorius will break Barry Bonds’ single season home run record of 73. He’ll hit his 74th in the 145th game of the season.
  • Derek Jeter holds the Yankees record for 260 career home runs by a shortstop. Didi will break that record in the 92nd game of the 2020 season, which should be shortly after the All-Star Break in July.
  • Gregorius will more than double Bonds’ old, long forgotten single-season home run record in 2023.
  • A couple of special things will happen in 2024, his age 34 season. Gregorius will become the first player in history to average more than one home run per game. He will also surpass Bonds’ career record with his 763rd home run in the 25th game of the season.

None of this will actually happen, of course. Didi will slow down at some point. But until he does, let’s enjoy the power show while it lasts.

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