One of the early surprises of the 2010 baseball season is the way the Toronto Blue Jays have been pounding the baseball. They currently lead the major leagues with 89 home runs in 53 games (not counting last night’s game).
Those 89 home runs in 53 games average out to about 1.68 home runs per game, which would put them on a 272 home run pace. That pace would break the single season record set by the 1997 Seattle Mariners for most home runs by a team with 264.
That Mariner team featured Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Alex Rodriguez, and Edgar Martinez. Even Paul Sorrento had 31 home runs that year.
So the question is — can this year’s version of the Blue Jays break the Mariners home run record?
I am going to say no, but they won’t be that far off.
Here are the home run totals for the Blue Jays’ core group of players:
Jose Bautista – 16
Vernon Wells – 13
Alex Gonzalez – 11
Aaron Hill – 8
Adam Lind – 8
John Buck – 8
Edwin Encarnacion – 7
Lyle Overbay – 7
Fred Lewis – 3
The surprise of this group of course is Bautista. He already has matched his career high in home runs just 53 games into the season. He is on pace for a 48 home run reason.
I am sorry I don’t see that happening. I could certainly see him hitting 30-35 home runs, but not 48.
Also, Gonzalez is on pace for a 33 home run season. If that happens, I will wear a New York Yankees hat and shirt for a full week.
Gonzalez has never hit more than 23 home runs in a season and it wouldn’t shock me if Gonzalez didn’t hit nine more home runs for the rest of the season.
I also don’t expect John Buck to continue his 31 home run pace. Buck has never hit more than 18 home runs in a season.
Even if Lind and Hill pick up the pace, guys like Bautista, Gonzalez and Buck can’t keep up their current pace. History just isn’t on their side.
I will say the Blue Jays end up with around 220-230 home runs as a team. Still not bad for a team that nobody expected to produce runs in 2010.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg