Buster Posey in his classic opposite field approach
The 2010 world champion San Francisco Giants hit 162 home runs. That was good for 15th in the major leagues.
The 2011 Giants have hit 22 in their first 18 games. At this rate, they will hit 198 homers this year, which, if they had hit that many last year, would have placed them at the top in the National League and fourth overall in the majors.
Wait a minute. Isn't this the same team we were calling offensively-anemic at this time last year?
Well, yes and no ...
The Panda has already belted five homers this year
It's funny that the movie Kung-Fu Panda 2 is coming out soon because baseball's Panda is back, too.
After shedding nearly 40 pounds in the off-season, Pablo Sandoval seems to have regained his confidence at the plate. He's hitting .328 with five home runs and 13 RBIs already, and the fact that he walked three times in Monday night's contest at Coors Field shows that opposing pitchers know he's back on track.
If Sandoval continues to hit well, we could see 30 home runs from him this season.
A full season of Posey means 25-30 homers
The 2010 Rookie of the Year hit .305 with 18 homers last year in just 108 games. At that rate of round-trippers, in a full season Posey would have hit 27 home runs.
And that was his rookie season. With a championship season under his belt, look for Buster to get close to 30 homers for 2011.
Pat the Bat, holding his weapon of choice
Pat Burrell may be hitting .208, but he has five home runs thus far in the young season. Whatever Burrell's playing time looks like this year, we'll see a good percentage of his hits leave the ballpark.
Last year Burrell hit 20 homers in 120 games. At that clip, a full season of Burrell, who was signed in May 2010 after being released by the Rays, would mean about 27 homers.
Cody Ross watching one of his several postseason home runs in flight
A full season of Cody Ross? Well, Giants fans hope that means a full season of the Cody Ross that showed up in the playoffs last year.
If we do, we can expect him to perform at his career best, which so far means about 24 homers and 90 RBIs.
Huff admires a deep drive
The ball that Aubrey Huff hit Tuesday night in Colorado could be a sign of things to come: it was monstrous.
If Huff picks up where he left off in 2010, leading the Giants in both home runs (26) and RBIs (86), we can expect to see more than a few water shots into McCovey Cove from the Giants first baseman in 2011.
Belt likes to belt baseballs
Brandon Belt got his first major league home run out of the way early, homering to dead center field in the second game of the season, against the Dodgers in LA.
Though Belt was sent back to Fresno to work on his swing, he'll be back with the big club and will likely start to show his power.
In the minors last year, he hit 23 homers in 136 games.
Post-homer celebrations are oh-so-sweet
The Giants can hit the long ball. They have the right guys in the lineup to turn virtually any at-bat into a trip around the bases.
If the defense comes around, and if the pitching remains as outstanding as it has been, the Giants are primed for another postseason run.