You might have heard about this, but the Yankees hit a lot of home runs. While there are people out there who think they should play more small ball or whatever, the bottom line is that home runs are why they have a 0.685 winning percentage this year.
The Yankees have 120 home runs through 71 games. Were they to keep up that pace through 162 games, they would set the single-season records for home runs as a team.
They also have a chance at another record. Not one that’s remotely as notable, but still one that would show how much power this team has from top to bottom. Or that the ball is juiced, but where’s the fun in that.
Through Wednesday, six Yankees currently have a double digit home run total. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton lead the way with 18 apiece. The middle infield pairing of Gleyber Torres and Didi Gregorius have 14 each. Despite his struggles, Gary Sanchez has 14 as well. Aaron Hicks just reached 10 with his two-run shot on Tuesday night.
The most players on a single team to all reach double digit home runs is 11. Four teams are currently tied for that mark, with last year’s Astros being the most recent. So, what chance, if any, do the Yankees have at surpassing that mark?
In all likelihood, a seventh Yankee will reach double digits relatively soon. Miguel Andujar is currently sitting at nine homers, and as we all know, he is allergic to singles and seemingly gets an extra base hit whenever he reaches.
Tyler Austin is just two away with eight. Considering the logjam of Yankee position players ahead of him, he might not make it back to the majors before September, but he’ll probably be up and get some chances then. However, if the Yankees and Red Sox are still fighting it out for the AL East, there might only be some pinch-hitting spots. Despite being two away, Austin is a bit of a question mark to make it to 10. He’s still more likely than some others further down the list, though.
His replacement as everyday first baseman was Greg Bird, who you have to image will get to 10. Injuries have hampered his start, but his power isn’t in question. He already has three in 20 games, and he hit a combined 20 in 96 games across his first two seasons in the bigs leagues.
Less likely to get there, but still with a pretty good chance is Brett Gardner. He’s halfway there with five, but has missed some time recently with injury. As long as that doesn’t linger, he stands a chance. He hit 20+ in 2017, so he’s more than capable at getting five more in the last half of this season. He’s still likely to lead-off a decent chunk of games, so Gardner will have plenty of chances.
If those four were to get there, that would be 10 players. However, to break the record, you would still need two others. Who could that be?
A candidate that’s emerged this year is Austin Romine. His four home runs this season already matches his highest mark in a season. A major question for him is playing time, seeing as he is still the backup catcher. If he does manage to continue hitting at a good clip, he could reach 10. On the other hand, if he gets enough playing time, it could mean Sanchez continues his slump. As good as Romine may be hitting, if that’s the case, it’s probably not a good thing for the Yankees.
Neil Walker is also hanging around the roster with two home runs. His playing time has dropped off since Bird has returned, and he wasn’t exactly a home run threat when he was playing. The only other Yankee currently on the board is Brandon Drury, but like some others, he’s stuck behind people for a spot on the 25-man roster.
Eleven seems like a real possibility, but finding a 12th is a stretch. The biggest wild card is Clint Frazier. We’ve now seen multiple Yankees’ youngsters come up and go on tears in Sanchez, Judge and Torres. Again, playing time is an issue, but he got to four in 134 at bats last year, and that came with struggles. If he gets an extended chance and goes on a tear, he has the ability.
Somehow getting 12 players with 10 or more home runs is going to be difficult. There’s a reason it’s never happened. However, it’s an interesting thing to watch out of the corner of your eye over the rest of the season.