If you had told Gunnar Henderson at the start of the season that he would have 10 home runs by the end of April, he likes to think he would have believed you. Even if he may have been a bit tentative.

“It can definitely be a little surprising,” he said. “I’m definitely feeling good.”

Henderson is the first player to hit 10 homers before May at 22 years old or younger.

“It’s pretty scary how good he is going to be, how good he is already,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

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And while he may be the first to 10, the list of those who hit nine homers in April before they turned 23 is impressive and includes Ozzie Albies, Bryce Harper, Miguel Cabrera, Austin Kearns and Alex Rodriguez. And while Henderson’s career is just getting started, the career paths of those who hit that milestone can provide perspective for how Henderson’s might turn out.

Ozzie Albies, 2018

After his stellar April in 2018, Albies went on to hit 24 home runs and make his first of three All-Star teams. The second baseman received MVP votes in 2021 and 2023, when he was 24 and 26, respectively. Now, at 27, he’s still putting up top-notch numbers for the Braves, hitting .325 with two home runs so far this season after a short stint on the injured list.

Bryce Harper, 2013

Harper won National League Rookie of the Year — a feat Henderson accomplished last year in the American League — as a 19-year-old. He won his first of two MVP awards in 2015 during his age 22 season, hitting .330 with 42 home runs and 99 RBIs. Harper is a seven-time All-Star with 312 home runs so far in his career. Now in the sixth year of his 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies, he has six home runs this season.

Miguel Cabrera, 2004

Cabrera’s 21-year career started when he was 20 and ended in 2023 at 40 years old. He made 12 All-Star teams and won two MVP awards, receiving votes 12 other times. Cabrera is one of three players in MLB history to have a career batting average above .300, 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. In 2012, he became the first player since 1967 to win the Triple Crown, leading the American League in batting average, home runs and RBIs.

Austin Kearns, 2003

Kearns provides a cautionary tale. His best season was his age 22 season in 2003, and his best month of that season was April, when he hit 9 of his 13 home runs. He ended the year with a .315 batting average and finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He played parts of 11 more seasons, but injuries plagued him for the rest of his career.

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Alex Rodriguez, 1998

By the time 1998 came around, Rodriguez had already played in parts of four major league seasons, making the All-Star team twice. In 1998, when he was 22, he hit 42 home runs after his nine-homer April. Rodriguez played 22 seasons, hitting 690 home runs while winning three MVP awards. He was suspended for the 2014 seasons after taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College.

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