With the start of the 2016 season, David Ortiz has less than a season left with the Red Sox before he calls it quits. Towards the end of last year, Ortiz made history when he joined the other 26 players to hit 500 homeruns during their respective careers. This season, Papi has already hit 2 homeruns in 2 games, which led me to question how high up the list Ortiz can climb.
With his 2nd homerun of the season last night, Ortiz passed Eddie Murray on the all time homerun list with number 505. Next on the list is Gary Sheffield with 509, then Mel Ott with 511. So, with the hot start, what is a reasonable number of dingers to expect from the 40-year-old?
Although the Red Sox severely underperformed last season, Papi refused to follow that rhetoric. The aging designated hitter knocked 37 homeruns over the wall in 146 games. With the addition of the 2 homeruns this season, Ortiz is sitting at 505, good enough for 26th all-time.
If Ortiz hits 25-30 home runs this season, that would bring him all the way up to 19th all-time, passing players like Ernie Banks, Ted Williams and Frank Thomas. If Ortiz were to really push the limit and hit 40, it would bump him up to number 17 all-time. Ortiz would end his career with 543 total homeruns, and would pass Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle along the way.
Ortiz currently sits at number 30 all-time on the RBI list. Papi batted in 108 runs last season, which is the 4th most in his career. That being said, let's say Ortiz bats in 100 runs this season. He would then move up to 21st on the all-time list, passing Sammy Sosa, Jim Thome and Cal Ripken.
While fans in the Boston area would no doubt vote David Ortiz into the Hall of Fame, the debate will continue for players like Ortiz and Martinez. The designated hitter will be a source of controversy when discussing the hall, but at the end of the day it is a position in baseball. When it all comes down to it, if you're breaking records and are one of the greatest to ever play a position, you belong in Cooperstown. David Ortiz belongs in Cooperstown when it's all said and done.
By Matt Watts