It is the milestone that has eluded the SF Giants for nearly 20 years. Do you even remember the last time the Giants had a player hit 30 home runs in one season? Some folks have never seen it but could the Giants buck that trend in 2023?
Will the SF Giants have a 30-homer hitter in 2023?
Barry Bonds (surprise) was the last Giants hitter to blast 30 homers in one season. He did it 14 times in his 22-year career. The last time he reached that milestone was in 2004 when he swatted 45 home runs while taking him his seventh and final MVP award.
Since then, the Giants have not had a single 30-homer season. They got so close in 2021 when Brandon Belt hit 29 home runs before breaking his thumb on a bunt attempt to end his season.
Fans have not seen a Giants hitter reach 30 home runs in years, but they have three players with experience doing it. Joc Pederson, Mitch Haniger, and Michael Conforto have all done it once in their respective careers.
Pederson (36) and Conforto (33) did it in 2019 whereas Haniger clubbed 39 home runs just two seasons ago. If Haniger blasted over 30 long balls in the season before free agency, he likely would have landed a larger deal than the three-year, $43.5 million contract he signed with San Francisco.
Power has never been the issue with these three players and that is especially true with Haniger. Staying on the field has typically been the biggest factor in his home run output.
None of the three have played in hitter-friendly ballparks in their career, so it is not a fluke that they reached 30 homers. In fact, Baseball Savant estimates that both Conforto and Haniger would still have reached over 30 homers in 2019 and 2021, respectively, if they played all 162 games at Oracle Park in those seasons.
Dodger Stadium typically leans in favor of the hitter, whereas T-Mobile Park (Seattle) and Citi Field (New York) lean in favor of the pitcher. Haniger and Conforto are joining one of the more pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball, but they have experience in that environment.
So will any of the three reach 30 home runs in 2023? The projections do not paint a favorable pitcher with both Pederson and Haniger reaching at least 20 home runs, but Conforto falling short of that mark.
With all that being said, they have done it before and done it in ballparks that are not extraordinarily favorable to the hitter. Sooner or later, that drought will come to an end.