San Francisco Giants power surge a pleasant surprise
By Brennen Rupp
One of the biggest questions facing the San Francisco Giants when the 2019 season opened was where their power production was going to come from.
The San Francisco Giants Opening Day lineup lacked power and that explains why first-year general manager Farhan Zaidi was forced to go dumpster diving.
That approach has turned up some gems, most notably Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson.
He also made an early trade to acquire outfielder Kevin Pillar from the Toronto Blue Jays. It was a move that didn’t move the needle much at the time, especially from an offensive standpoint, but now Pillar is on the cusp of doing something no Giants player has done since the 2015 season.
The last San Francisco Giants player to reach that milestone was shortstop Brandon Crawford, who hit 21 bombs in 2015.
In his last 30 games, Pillar has hit seven home runs, and his next long ball will be his 20th of the year.
It’s surprising, to say the least, that Pillar is about to do something that hasn’t been done the past three years when he wasn’t even on the Opening Day roster.
To find the last time that the San Francisco Giants have had four players hit 20 or more home runs in a season, you have to go all the way back to the 2006 campaign.
That season, Barry Bonds (26), Ray Durham (26), Moises Alou (22) and Pedro Feliz (22) all eclipsed 20 homers, and that’s something the Giants could accomplish this season.
We’ve already touched on Pillar, who is all but certain to reach 20 home runs with a full month to hit just one more.
The next in line would be third baseman Evan Longoria, who hit his 17th home run of the season in Sunday’s 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics. Barring injury, Longoria looks like a lock to log his 10th career 20-homer season.
The 29-year-old Yastrzemski also has 17 home runs, including seven in his last 15 games. As long as he keeps swinging a hot bat, the rookie outfielder should reach the milestone as well.
While that trio is all safe bets, things get a bit dicey after that.
Brandon Belt currently has 14 home runs and with 32 games left to play, it’s not out of the question that he could reach the 20-homer plateau. While it’s been a down season of sorts for Belt, all it will take is for him to hit one every five games for the remainder of the season to get to 20.
At the beginning of the season, the idea of the San Francisco Giants having even one player hit 20 home runs seemed far-fetched. Now they could potentially have four players hit 20 or more home runs for the first time since 2006.