San Francisco Giants players have hit 30 homers or more in a season 48 different times. Barry Bonds did it a dozen times, and Willie Mays did it seven, but on average, it happens .83 times every season. Which is to say it happens just about every season.
So let's check in with the last five 30-homer hitters employed by the San Francisco Giants.
- Barry Bonds (several between 1993-2004)
- Jeff Kent (1998-2002)
- Rich Aurilia (2001)
- Matt Williams (1990-1994)
- Kevin Mitchell (1989-1990)
Ellis Burks hit 30 in 1999, but some of those had Coors Field stink on them. From 1989 through 2004, the Giants had a 30-homer hitter in every season except for 1992. It was something we got used to, something completely reasonable to expect. And then *pooooof*, there were no 30-home run hitters ever again.
Also, the Giants won three World Series, so I'm not complaining. But I sure would like to see some more dingers.
Is this a rare thing? Combined with the offensive downturn, are there several teams that can trumpet a 30-homer drought this lengthy? To the nerd cave!
|Team||Last year with 30+ homer player|
There's exactly one team that's worse off than the Giants in their quest for a 30-dinger player. That would be the Royals, who have never even had a 40-homer player in their entire existence. Also, the player who holds the Royals' record for homers in a season is an advance scout for the Giants now, where he keeps busy by helping develop excellent players who will never hit 30 homers. And we've come full circle.
Still, it's extraordinarily rare for a team to go this long without at least one 30-homer guy. It's easy to blame the ballpark, but the A's stumbled into Brandon Moss, so it's still possible for a fluke season to happen in a pitcher's park. The Mets had a random Lucas Duda season, and that was a season after Ike Davis did it. (An aside: The last player to do it for the Braves was Dan Uggla, and the last person to do it for the Nationals was Michael Morse. That seems important.)
It's hard to find a 30-homer hitter, in other words, but it's much harder to find hundreds of different hitters who all won't hit 30 homers over a decade-long stretch. At least one of them should flip out and have a career year.
So is this the year? Remember, you don't have to think of a hitter as a "true 30-homer hitter," you just have to think of a hitter as someone with the potential to have a bananas season. Brandon Belt looked like he was heading toward that kind of season before a Dodger broke him in 2014. Hunter Pence hit 27 homers in 2013, the most for a Giants player since Ray Durham.
Also, Ray Durham hit 26 home runs while playing half his games at AT&T Park. Which almost proves the point that we should have at least one freak season coming up.
Or, as the Royals remind us, it doesn't have to happen ever, and that's okay. Still, as a home run fetishist, I'm curious when the next time this will happen for the Giants. Or are we stuck thinking, "Wow, Brandon Crawford got to 20!" for eternity? There's a poll. Vote in the poll!