You're never going to believe this, but the last player to hit 30 or more home runs for the San Francisco Giants was 10 years ago. They haven't had a 30-homer hitter since Barry Bonds in 2004.
I'll wait for you to collect yourself.
It's true, you know. Don't even try to find fault with my extensive research.
Okay, it's possible -- possible -- you might not be that surprised. The last non-Bondses to hit 30 homers or more:
Jeff Kent, 37 (2002)
Rich Aurilia, 37 (2001)
Jeff Kent, 33 (2000)
Ellis Burks, 31 (1999)
Jeff Kent, 31 (1999)
Matt Williams, 43 (1994)
Two things: First, I didn't remember Ellis Burks playing a single game at Candlestick, much less hitting 30 homers for that team. Second, Matt Williams's 43 homers came in a strike-shortened season. Good thing the owners drew a line in the sand and prevented salaries from increasing. Though could you imagine the poopstorm if Williams broke the record and was then named on the Mitchell Report? It would have been less than pleasant. Heck, he might not even be a manager now.
Sidetracked! The point isn't to reminisce about the past, but to look toward the future. The Giants have 11 home runs through the first week of the season, with Brandon Belt going bananers. The Royals don't have a homer this season, you know. The Giants are powerful, so powerful, and this isn't ever going to end.
What I'm looking for is a guess from everyone as to who's going to have the next 30-homer season. Options:
Belt needs 26 more to join Sid Gordon and Willard Marshall in the Giants' exclusive 30-homer club. He hit his fourth homer last year on May 12. I like this Belt better.
There's just one problem: He hasn't played at home yet, where baseballs go to die and spirits are trampled. The over/under on combined home runs at AT&T Park this year is still three, so let's not get carried away.
His career high is 27, so once you factor in that he isn't playing in Houston or Philly anymore, it seems unlikely. Except he set that mark last year, so maybe he's growing into his cursorial arms and legs.
He reminds me of Will Clark -- a pure hitter who needs a rabbitty ball or fluke season to hit 30 or more. There just isn't enough wild abandon in either. That's good for the average and OBP (and overall value), but bad when you want empty-calorie dingers.
He's slim! But he also hasn't hit 30 homers over the last two seasons combined. He's also going to be on the Dodgers next year, so ....
Boy, I'd love to be wrong. And he is a large human, capable of 30, certainly. But there's just no way. His plate discipline makes Hunter Pence look like Nick Johnson, and I don't think that part of the book on Morse was as commonly known in his 30-homer season as it is now.
Guy from the farm
As in, someone who isn't currently on the roster, but is drafted or developed by the Giants. Could be Mac Williamson, could be a guy they draft this year. You choose. But in this scenario, a Giants hitter comes up and does excellent things, breaking the lengthy drought.
I was going to laugh this scenario off, then I realized that three of the possibilities up there are homegrown, so maybe I should shut up.
Bonds was a free agent, and Kent was acquired in a trade. In this scenario, it takes someone from outside the organization to get there. I'll guess ... Lucas Duda in 2020. He will also be worth 0 WAR because he fields like Aubrey Huff wrapped in bubble tape.
I'm going with guy from the farm. Not this year. Not next year. Not ... look, it will be in 2021. Guy from the farm in 2021. It took 19 games for the Giants to have this many homers last year, so I'm feeling optimistic, but as much as I want to pick Belt, I'm just stupid enough to believe in jinxes.
(It's probably Belt.)
(Come onnnnn, Belt. You can do it, old bean.)