When Albert Pujols signed a one-year deal to return to the St. Louis Cardinals for a swan song campaign, he had 679 career home runs. It seemed unlikely he would be able to achieve the 700 mark as a part-time player, especially since he had not hit over 20 home runs since 2019, his last season with over 500 plate appearances.
In 2022, Pujols has hit 18 home runs over 90 games, surpassing the 17 he hit in a 2021 season split between the two Los Angeles franchises. His 18th home run of 2022, better known as career blast number 697, came in the clutch. The two runs scored gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead over their division rival Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cards are 7-3 over the last ten games and enjoy an eight-game lead over the second-place Milwaukee Brewers.
Pujols’ second homer in as many games allowed him to climb past Álex Rodríguez to fourth place on the MLB all-time home run leaderboard. Next up is Babe Ruth at 714. With just 21 games left, Ruth’s position should be secure. 700 looks quite achievable if Pujols can remain hot.