3:40 p.m. EDT update: Braun just added his second solo shot of the game, giving him 201 career homers.
Ryan Braun became the seventh player in major league history to reach 200 homers within his first six seasons when he took the Mets’ Chris Young deep on Sunday.
Here’s the list of players with the most homers through six seasons:
257 – Ralph Kiner (1946-51)
250 – Albert Pujols (2001-06)
222 – Ryan Howard (2004-09)
222 – Eddie Mathews (1952-57)
203 – Mark Teixeira (2003-08)
202 – Frank Robinson (1956-61)
200 – Ryan Braun (2007-12)
198 – Joe DiMaggio (1936-41)
198 – Adam Dunn (2001-06)
197 – Ted Williams (1939-47)
Braun went to college and didn’t debut in the majors until age-23, so he wouldn’t fare so well on an age-based home run list. Still, this is pretty impressive company he’s keeping here.
In case you’re wondering how the all-time home run leaders fared through six seasons, Hank Aaron is tops in the 700 club, with 179 homers. Barry Bonds had 142 homers through six seasons (23 fewer than his father had). Still pitching for Boston, Babe Ruth had 59 homers in his first six seasons.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.