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Bryce Harper is 15th player in MLB history to reach 50 career homers before age-22 season

Aug 30, 2014, 2:07 PM EDT

Bryce Harper Getty Getty Images

Bryce Harper hit one of six home runs for the Nationals last night in an 8-3 victory over the Mariners. In doing so, he joined some impressive company.

Harper is just the 15th player in MLB history to reach 50 career home runs before their age-22 season. It took him 331 games to get there.

Via Baseball Reference, he’s the full list, which includes two other active players:

Mel Ott – 86

Tony Conigliaro – 84

Eddie Matthews – 72

Frank Robinson – 67

Alex Rodriguez – 64

Mike Trout – 62

Ken Griffey, Jr. – 60

Al Kaline – 59

Mickey Mantle – 57

Giancarlo Stanton – 56

Bob Horner – 56

Andruw Jones – 54

Ted Williams – 54

Orlando Cepeda – 52

Bryce Harper – 50

Such a disappointment, that Harper. In all seriousness, imagine how high he’d be on that list if it wasn’t for the injuries over the past two seasons. He’d be near the top, most likely, if not the highest. Still, he’s off to a pretty good start and has plenty of time to meet those lofty expectations.

  1. baberuthslegs - Aug 30, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Why do I not like this guy?

    • natstowngreg - Aug 30, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Perhaps, because he’s young and talented and rich. Jealousy is a terrible thing.

      • erbaodai - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        Not exactly. I doubt many have a problem with Trout and Stanton, two other active players on this list.

      • baberuthslegs - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        All I’ve seen is potential, and some attitude. You better be producing like hell if you’re going to complain about your manager’s lineup card.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 30, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        Legs, wouldn’t 50 home runs kind of fit the definition of production?

      • erbaodai - Aug 30, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        @nothanksimdriving 50 Home Runs over 3 injury shortened seasons for a 21 years is a lot of potential, but not a lot of production, and certainly not enough to deserve that kind of hype.

    • moogro - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      A Christmas Story. Haunted by people with piercing (yellow) eyes and red hair.

    • jfk69 - Aug 30, 2014 at 8:36 PM

      I was the 45th youngest player in my softball league to reach 25 home runs. Then I was injured and to this day I haven’t reached 26.
      Ken Griffey is my idol. Please let us know when he reaches 250 HR’S.

  2. irishlad19 - Aug 30, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Because he’s still an immature entitled adolescent even if hugely talented?

    • recoveringcubsfan - Aug 30, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Hmmm, is he? Do you know him well, or watch him play a lot? Or is this more of a thing you’ve heard somewhere?

    • twinfan24 - Aug 30, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      He had some issues in the minors, but he pretty well cleaned up his act in the majors. He’s just had injury issues that have limited his time and effectiveness. He also had the slight misfortune to debut around the same time as Trout, who has been better, which makes it seem like Harper is struggling by comparison, but he has still been very good for his age.

  3. sportsfan18 - Aug 30, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    of course it isn’t perfect, but a very good way of seeing how many HR’s he would have hit is to just use the number of HR’s he’s hit per his at bats…

    I’m not sure how many games he’s missed over the past couple of seasons, but for giggles and grins I’ll just say he’s missed 90 games.

    he’s hit an HR for every 24.38 at bats so far in his career.

    bryce has averaged right about 3.68 at bats per game he’s played so far in his young career.

    So, 90 games with 3.68 at bats per game would give him another 331 at bats.

    hitting an HR every 24.38 of those at bats would give him about another 13.5 home runs.

    Again, this isn’t perfect as there is no way to know of hot streaks or a slump etc…

    but, he would have been around 64 hrs right now give or take.

    that would tie him for 4th with Arod and with the rest of the games left in this regular season, he could have moved up to 3rd on that list…

    yeah, kids done alright.

    • jwbiii - Aug 30, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      Harper has missed 88 games on the DL, so your guesses/estimations are spot on.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Aug 30, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Of course, he also got to the majors a little sooner than most of the other guys on the list, so you have to temper things a bit. But it’s still impressive that he’s hit that many HR, especially considering that he is a sucker for sliders away. That means he’s punished pretty much every single pitcher who has dared to challenge him in the zone.

      • jwbiii - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        Actually, his debut age is exactly average for this group. His HR rate is among the lowest, but how much better than Ken Griffey, Jr. do you have to be?

        HR	AB   AB/HR    Debut	
        86   1,724   20.05   17.056   Mel Ott
        84   1,483   17.65   19.100   Tony Conigliaro
        72   1,107   15.38   20.185   Eddie Mathews
        67   1,183   17.66   20.230   Frank Robinson
        64   1,384   21.63   18.346   Alex Rodriguez
        62   1,271   20.50   19.335   Mike Trout
        60   1,600   26.67   19.133   Ken Griffey, Jr.
        59   1,737   29.44   18.188   Al Kaline
        57   1,351   23.70   19.179   Mickey Mantle
        56     875   15.63   20.212   Giancarlo Stanton
        56     810   14.46   20.314   Bob Horner
        54   1,087   20.13   19.114   Andruw Jones
        54   1,126   20.85   20.233   Ted Williams
        52   1,208   23.23   20.210   Orlando Cepeda
        50   1,219   24.38   19.195   Bryce Harper
        62   1,278   20.54   19.202   Average
      • moogro - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        Thanks jwb

      • tmc602014 - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Nice chart, jw. Notice the close resemblance to Mantle in age and AB/HR. And Bryce has been ragged on since day one and had many injuries, so we may not have seen his best. I’m not a big fan of the brashness, but this is quite impressive.

  4. heyblueyoustink - Aug 30, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    I also hear he’s on track to turn 22 on …… his 22nd birthday!

    What a dream weaver!

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 30, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      Nicholas Angel: Oy! When’s your birthday?
      Underage Drinker #1: 22nd of February.
      Nicholas Angel: What year?
      Underage Drinker #1: Every year!

  5. moogro - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Wished you would have listed number of games played by these players to go along with the age stat.

  6. bonnovi - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    I was just thinking about it and I realized, more people would probably recognize Bryce Harper in a bar than Mike Trout. (More commercials and more ESPN coverage.)

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 30, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      Bonnovi, however, since Bryce would seem unlikely to show up in a bar, given his avoidance of alcohol due to his religious preference, let’s make that a restaurant and I’ll agree.

      • bonnovi - Aug 30, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        Exactly, all the more reason he would stand out.

  7. tmc602014 - Aug 30, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    While a fine achievement, Bryce is still #1 in disrespecting the A.

    • jwbiii - Aug 30, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      Hester Prynne or Arthur Dimmesdale?

  8. jinx21fan - Aug 30, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Among his contemporaries on the list, I would rather have either Trout or Stanton on my team. It doesn’t take away from his accomplishments though, kid has talent.

    • erbaodai - Aug 30, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      “I would rather have either Trout or Stanton on my team.”

      Duh!

      • jinx21fan - Aug 31, 2014 at 1:57 AM

        Haha I’m glad you and I agree.

  9. genericcommenter - Aug 30, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    There’s no way he would have passed Ott, injuries or no.

  10. irishlad19 - Aug 30, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Hopefully., the kid will grow up and become a respected All Star in time.
    He’s obviously talented, but spoiled like many young sports phenoms.

  11. slappymcknucklepunch - Aug 30, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    I like how the guy plays hard and tough.Will probably turn out to be an outstanding hitter with good power.Having said that,He kind of reminds me of McGriff for power.400-475 Hr’s is what I think he will end up at and I would imagine lots of runs,Rbi’s.BA,etc.I just feel he will not get to 500.I hope I am wrong but I just don’t feel like he will be one of those 14 other guys who most of the ended up 500 or higher.

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