aaron judge yankees
Troy Taormina | USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge is fast approaching a magical single-season home run number. But can the Yankees star reach an even bigger career one?

The 500-home run club still carries immense weight, even in post-Steroid Era times. Membership all but guarantees induction into the Hall of Fame (with the exception of those known or suspected to have used performance-enhancing drugs).

Two active, but about to retire, players are in the club. The Cardinals’ Albert Pujols and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera are expected to be Cooperstown shoo-ins (they are also members of the 3,000 hit club). So ESPN examined the active players who could conceivably reach the milestone and projected their chances.

The results? Judge — currently at 215 home runs at age 30 — was given a 46% chance of reaching 500 home runs. Only the Angels’ Mike Trout (345 homers at 31) and Yankees teammate Giancarlo Stanton (373 at 32) have better odds, according to ESPN. Trout is given a 59% chance to reach 500 while Stanton has a 47% chance.

Trout is clearly the odds-on favorite to be the next man to hit 500 home runs (and potentially 600 as well). But ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle does believe Judge could make a run himself if his torrid 2022 pace continues:

If Aaron Judge were a little younger, he might be my pick. It’s hard to believe that even though Trout debuted five years before Judge, Trout’s only about eight months older. That being said, Sammy Sosa once put up 243 homers from his age-29 to his age-32 seasons. If Judge embarks on a spree like that, we can revisit this question.

Also of note: Mets slugger Pete Alonso is given a 29% chance to hit 500 home runs. He has clubbed 141 so far and is 27-years-old.

More on ESNY:
Mike Francesa is ‘hearing rumblings’ Woody Johnson may sell Jets
Yankees’ Aaron Judge will get ‘$300 million-plus’ in free agency, MLB insider says
WFAN’s Gregg Giannotti also thinks Mets are cursed by Timmy Trumpet
Dodgers’ Trea Turner won’t limit MLB free-agent options, but is ‘East Coast guy’
Early ratings on Craig Carton’s FS1 show are not what you want

James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.