After setting an MLB record in 2018 with the most team home runs of all time, is it possible for the Yankees to once again lead the league in home runs?
The Yankees have been slugging their way through the AL East over the past couple of weeks and it isn’t from the same sluggers we are used to. Powered by unlikely heroes, the Yankees have been able to hit a whopping 218 in 121 games. They are currently hitting 1.8 home runs per game which equates to roughly 292 home runs in a season. That is a far cry from the 267 the team hit last year. Having time to think about this feat is incredible. Being on pace with an every day lineup that hasn’t been consistent is truly remarkable.
With 41 games to go, the Yankees are only 11 back from the slumping Minnesota Twins, and with the Orioles in town, the momentum is starting to shift in New York’s favor. Who is the leader in home runs for the New York Yankees? Yes, you guessed wrong. Gleyber Torres currently leads the Bronx Bombers with 26 home runs, 13 coming by way of Baltimore pitching. If he can hit another home run in the next two games against the lowly Orioles, he will have passed Yankees legend, Lou Gerhig who hit an absurd 14 home runs against Cleveland in 1936 (Per Sarah Langs).
There hasn’t been a dominant slugger in the lineup all year. However, the Yankees have been fortunate enough to have 10 players reach double digit home runs with still more to come. While in the midst of this home run surge, Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman have provided the pop in the utter domination of the AL East. Who would’ve thought that Gio Urhsela is leading the Yankees in SLG? I’ll answer that for you absolutely no one. It has been such a dominant run and there seems to be no stoppage any time soon.
After the embarrassing ALDS loss to the Red Sox last season, many critics harped on the fact that the Yankees only slug home runs and strike out. While that still may be true, they are 3rd in all of baseball in average and 2nd in OBP. Compared to last year, with a .329 OBP, the Yankees have been able to increase that number by 0.026. Cashman sought out contact hitters and players who can generate walks at an above average rate. These numbers could be boring to an average Yankee fan but most critics have been silenced by the positively increased play in the batter’s box.
Mashing home runs is cool though, and the MLB is in an era where home runs are valued just as much as anything. Knowing how incredible this milestone can be yet again will put this offense into the elite company of baseball’s powerhouses. The home run record will be broken again. I would bet the Yankees come on top because of how hot they’ve been to this point. Winning the World Series is still the number one priority though, we shouldn’t forget that.