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.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.