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Who will lead the Yankees in home runs next season?

There is no shortage of candidates, but two of them stand out among the rest

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees hit 306 home runs in 2019. They would have the record for more dingers in a season if it weren’t for the Minnesota Twins, who hit 307 this year. It is pretty clear that the Bombers are, well, that.

A total of 14 players surpassed the ten-homer mark this year: Cameron Maybin, Clint Frazier, Mike Ford, Aaron Hicks, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Tauchman, Didi Gregorius, Luke Voit, Giovanny Urshela, DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres. That list doesn’t even include Giancarlo Stanton, who missed nearly all of the season due to injury.

Eight players had at least 15 round-trippers, seven had a minimum of 20, and two, Sanchez and Torres, reached the 30-homer plateau. While some of those names won’t be around in 2020, is safe to say that there will be some fireworks next season, too. Among all the great candidates, who will lead the New York Yankees in home runs next season?

The projections

According to the Steamer’s projections, Giancarlo Stanton will lead the 2020 New York Yankees in dingers with 49. Aaron Judge appears in second place with 41, while Gleyber Torres (33) and Gary Sanchez (30) are third and fourth, respectively.

According to Depth Charts, Stanton will finish first in the team with 49 homers in 2020, followed by Judge with 40. Gleyber is projected to have 37 by the year’s end, and Sanchez’s projection is 30. Andujar (24), LeMahieu (19) and Gio Urshela (19) check in next.

The candidates

Torres led the Bombers last season with 38 taters, while Sanchez, with 34, was the only other batter with at least 30. DJ LeMahieu finished with a career-high 26 round-trippers, but it is unlikely that he approaches 30 again. 20 may be a more appropriate estimate.

Judge hit 27 balls out of the park in his abbreviated 2019. He totaled 102 games and 447 plate appearances. However, 2017 serves as a friendly reminder of what he can do with full at-bats. His ceiling is around 50.

Stanton, a Statcast darling and a known masher, is another strong candidate to lead the charge in 2020. He suffered a litany of injuries in 2019, but next season could be a comeback for the ages. He can easily top 40 home runs and has eclipsed the 50-homer plateau before.

Sanchez hits the ball really hard and in the air very often, but he figures to miss more games than the three previously mentioned players since he is a catcher and may need a rest day or two here and there. His career-high in games played is 122, back in 2017.

The roster is filled of powerful players that may surprise if they find themselves with everyday at-bats. Miguel Andujar almost hit 30 home runs in his first full season back in 2018 (he finished with 27).

Any player capable of knocking ten balls out of the park in a month, as Luke Voit did in September 2018, should be considered a candidate. Mike Ford has shown plenty of power in the past, as well.

The verdict

While Mike Tauchman, Urshela, LeMahieu and Andujar certainly have power in their bats, they don’t look like 35-homer threats (maybe the latter in a peak season). Ford and Voit may not have the playing time required to be among the leaders.

While Brett Gardner hit 28 last season, he had lots of things going for him and a repeat is unlikely. He may clear 20, but he will need the playing time to be there all season and that’s not a given. Aaron Hicks will be injured to start the season and miss a few months.

Sanchez, if healthy, will likely clear 30. But can he approach 40? It would be amazing, but it is very difficult for a regular catcher to do it since they don’t usually play 150+ games in a season. Sanchez, so far, is no exception.

If Torres, Judge, and Stanton are all healthy, then the most likely scenario has Gleyber between 30 and 40 and the two big fellas over 40.

If he is over the ailments that haunted him during the 2019 season, Giancarlo Stanton is well positioned to lead the Yankees in home runs. In 2018, he hit 38 in a “slow” season. Imagine what he can do if he’s healthy.

For the sake of fun, let’s do a top-five prediction: Stanton will hit 50, Judge 48, Torres 34 and Sanchez 28.

Do you have a prediction for the top-five Yankees in home runs? How about top-ten? Feel free to discuss it in the comments section.