265 Or Bust: Taking Aim At The Team HR Record

jon abbey

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I didn't want to start this too early, but NY seems to be in pretty good health with two weeks to go before Opening Day, plus the addition of Walker's pull power today, so here goes...

Last year, NY led all of MLB with 241 team HRs, 16th most alltime. The record is by the 1997 Mariners, 264, and after adding Stanton (who ZiPS projected for 55 HRs, regression and a better park to hit in evidently cancelling each other out), they'd seem to have a good shot at that, assuming good health and that I haven't angered the baseball gods too much by posting this.

Anyway, I thought we could keep an eye on that here as the season progresses. I don't think it makes too much sense to project specifics until we see who actually makes the team, but here is a piece from last month that tries, before Drury and Walker and maybe Lind*, they have NY at 250 there:

https://www.mlb.com/news/yankees-can-challenge-home-run-record-in-2018/c-265253614

*No way Lind makes the team now barring injuries, maybe he will agree to go to Scranton until his 6/1 optout, but I don't think he makes the roster at any point unless Bird goes on the DL. But if that did happen, he would be a nice option to still have around against RHP so hopefully they can figure out how to do that. Lind's other opt-out is 3/22 (next Thursday) so we should know if he is a depth option still or not soon. Also Mike Ford has been awful trying to make SEA's roster so far, so he may be coming back soon too...
 

brs3

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Aaron Judge, even with a monster finish, slumped hard in the second half of 2017. Stanton will arguably be facing better pitching in the AL. I think assuming either player will come close to duplicating their 2017 seasons is asking a lot, and to reach 265, I think they'll need to come close.
 

jon abbey

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Aaron Judge, even with a monster finish, slumped hard in the second half of 2017. Stanton will arguably be facing better pitching in the AL. I think assuming either player will come close to duplicating their 2017 seasons is asking a lot, and to reach 265, I think they'll need to come close.
Totally fair, but also remember they got very little from Bird last regular season. He tried to play hurt in April and was an automatic out and didn't come back until the final month when he was back to himself.

Anyway, I think Stanton will hit more towards 45-50 this year but Judge might hit more, he needs to not throw himself around in the OF quite so much (it is usually very welcome at the time, though) and keep himself healthy to punish baseballs. Also both should get pitched around less, has there been a scarier pair of back-to-back hitters since Manny/Ortiz? Sheffield/A-Rod had a few years too.
 

crow216

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Aaron Judge, even with a monster finish, slumped hard in the second half of 2017. Stanton will arguably be facing better pitching in the AL. I think assuming either player will come close to duplicating their 2017 seasons is asking a lot, and to reach 265, I think they'll need to come close.
This is true but there’s too many variables to say why. Could have been a hitch in his swing, the hot streaks could be the real flukes, the shoulder injury that required surgery could have been a big factor. For the purposes of this thread though, I don’t think his HR power is in doubt at all. For purposes of figuring out whether Aaron Judge is an elite hitter, totally can either way.
 

jon abbey

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If NY goes with the more established Walker/Drury to start the season at 2B/3B, as a baseline here is how many that lineup hit last year:

Sanchez-33 in 525 PAs
Bird-8 in 98 PAs once he was healthy, 9 in 170 if you count April too
Walker-14 in 448 PAs
Didi-25 in 570 PAs
Drury-13 in 480 PAs
Gardner-21 in 682 PAs
Hicks-15 in 361 PAs
Judge-52 in 678 PAs
Stanton-59 in 692 PAs

So that is 241 combined with an average of 512 PAs apiece. For comparison, last year's NY top 9 HR hitters had 204 between them in almost the exact same number of PAs.
 

jon abbey

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How does Colorado not hold this record?
It is surprising it's not higher, I saw one projection system this year (I forget which, sorry) that had both NY and BAL breaking the record this year, and those projection systems are generally conservative.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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It is surprising it's not higher, I saw one projection system this year (I forget which, sorry) that had both NY and BAL breaking the record this year, and those projection systems are generally conservative.
It was Zips/Steamer on Fangraphs:

Here’s what we can say for now: The Yankees and the Orioles are positioned to break the existing home-run record. It’s not something that would even require all that much luck. The projections try to strip away the luck, and still, they point to a pair of record-breaking team performances. I know that, in this era, that’s less amazing than it could be. There exists some measure of widespread dinger fatigue. But those home runs aren’t going away, and the AL East is about to experience an incredible number of them. The 1997 Mariners could be looking at their next and final loss.
 

jon abbey

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https://www.mlb.com/news/7-guarantees-for-the-2018-season/c-268901626

=====================

1. The Yankees will break the team home run record.

Though baseball's homer record fell in 2017, the team mark did not. The '97 Mariners still hold the all-time team record at 264. That's going to change. Probably.

We wrote about this in detail last month, when we noted that the 2017 Yankees already led the Majors in homers with 241, and then they went out and added Giancarlo Stanton anyway. At the time, that was enough to put them into the conversation for the record, but they've made two more moves since then, adding Brandon Drury and Neil Walker, who combined to hit 27 homers last year. That should take time away from the light-hitting bats of utility infielders like Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade.

Maybe the question here isn't about if they'll break the record. Maybe it's more about when they break the record. Is it too much to wonder if it happens before the end of August?
 

jon abbey

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Heh, no, and I do think the August thing is ridiculous. But it should be fun keeping an eye on for NY fans, that writer is a normally level-headed stats-based national guy and he is all revved up.
 

crow216

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Heh, no, and I do think the August thing is ridiculous. But it should be fun keeping an eye on for NY fans, that writer is a normally level-headed stats-based national guy and he is all revved up.
I agree. This will just be fun to track and isn't some way of saying the Yankees are going to rule baseball and be the best. Homeruns aren't indicative of a great season.
 

jon abbey

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I think it's pretty unanimous that Houston is the team to beat, NY is somewhere in the next few. HOU needs to figure out their bullpen by the postseason but a potential playoff rotation of Verlander/Keuchel/Cole/McCullers is pretty insane.

The crazy thing actually is that besides the HRs, NY also is supposed to have a historically good bullpen, the highest combined projected WAR in some of these offseason systems, but still HOU is the better team overall on paper starting the season.
 

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Is this the official jinx thread? Jon, were you consulted on this book? This guy prob cribbed half the book from the good NYY threads here. Next Yankee Dynasty is bold, though, even if unfortunately probably true.

ImageUploadedBySons of Sam Horn1521656780.661067.jpg
 

jon abbey

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I read that book last week, Hoch is a good beat reporter and people seem to be loving it on Twitter but indeed the book is quite flimsy and unnecessary.
 

tims4wins

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18 HR through 14 games, current pace of 208 which would have ranked 15th in all of MLB last year

Stanton, Judge, Didi, and Sanchez all have 3 HR.

Oh and the Yankees have given up 17 HR on the year, on pace for 197 allowed. They gave up 192 last year, similar amount.
 

jon abbey

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They mentioned this on the YES broadcast tonight, so just passing it on:

4 tonight puts them at 32 through 21 games, which is a projected 246 for the year. But Michael Kay said that SEA had just 25 through their first 21 games when they set the record, so NY is way ahead from that perspective.
 

hbk72777

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They mentioned this on the YES broadcast tonight, so just passing it on:

4 tonight puts them at 32 through 21 games, which is a projected 246 for the year. But Michael Kay said that SEA had just 25 through their first 21 games when they set the record, so NY is way ahead from that perspective.

And O'Neill and other players keep noting that a lot of balls would've left the yard in warmer weather (Sanchez last night, being 1 example). So they may even pick up the pace in May

P.S. Didi is on pace for 54 himself, not to mention 185 RBI.

Sick
 

hbk72777

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Missed the game, but reading the box score.

My god, how huge is Didi's contract going to be in 2020?

I remember thinking last year, how huge his stats would have been had he not missed a month. We're finding out now
 

tims4wins

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Through roughly 1/4 of the season on pace for 231, a bit down from last year. Unsure about the pace through 40 games though.

I maintain 225-240 range.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Through roughly 1/4 of the season on pace for 231, a bit down from last year. Unsure about the pace through 40 games though.

I maintain 225-240 range.
They had hit 62 through their first 40 games last year, 6 more than currently. However, the 40th game was a week later last year, and the weather has been worse than normal this year. I don't think I have the skills to look up actual weather in the amount of time I'm willing to commit :).
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/tgl.cgi?team=NYY&t=b&year=2017

Interestingly, Cleveland has 1 more homer (57) and the Angels and Blue Jays are tied with the Yankees.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2018.shtml
 

jon abbey

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Finally NY is getting some games in warm weather and the results are not surprising, 14 in the last 3 games in KC and TEX has them right at 265 pace (72 in 44 games). Bird is supposed to be back for the first time this season this weekend also, which should help against tough righties.
 

jon abbey

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Interestingly NY has 8+ extra base hits three games in a row, only three teams before ever did that and the last two are the two I would cite as the best two lineups of my lifetime 1-9, 2003 Red Sox and 1999 Indians (and the 1935 Senators).
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Interestingly NY has 8+ extra base hits three games in a row, only three teams before ever did that and the last two are the two I would cite as the best two lineups of my lifetime 1-9, 2003 Red Sox and 1999 Indians (and the 1935 Senators).
The 2003 Red Sox actually had 15 such games (not in a row), which blows away the 2nd place teams (11 games for 2017 HOU and 1929 DET). The following teams had 10 such games:
  • 2017 NYY
  • 2013 BOS
  • 2011 BOS
  • 2006 TEX
  • 1999 OAK
  • 1936 NYY
  • 1930 NYY
  • 1930 STL
The Yankees have 5 already, through 51 games. The 1999 SEA, 2014 COL and 2016 COL each had 6 in their first 51 games. 11 other teams had 5 of them, including the 2009 & 2016 Red Sox and the 1936 Yankees.
 

jon abbey

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109 through 65 games (counting the suspended WAS game), on pace for 272.
 

hbk72777

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With Bird back and Stanton heating up along with Didi alive again, they should up the pace even more
 

jon abbey

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Drury is going to be playing more 1B in AAA also, he could be up again soon too.
 

jon abbey

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NY is now exactly halfway through the season, 137 through 81 games after 6 tonight, so on pace for 274.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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NY is now exactly halfway through the season, 137 through 81 games after 6 tonight, so on pace for 274.
The 2017 Yankees and 1997 Mariners each had 125 through 81 games. In the Mariners' 81st game, Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez and Paul Sorrento each hit a homer off of Giants starter Keith Foulke.
 

crow216

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I've seen Sox and Houston fans say the same thing I'm about to say but there are still a lot of places this time should see more production from. Stanton, Sanchez, Didi, and Bird should all start picking that pace up. Hopefully when Sanchez returns from his annual month off, he comes back slugging.
 

jon abbey

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154 through 91 games breaks the SEA 1999 record for most HRs before the ASB (151) and puts NY on pace for 274 for the season.
 

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I expect they will break the record but "by the All Star Break" stats are as close to BS as anything out there. The Sox are tied for most wins by the ASB with 4 to play. This is to be expected when the season starts wicked early and the ASB is relatively late.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, I was a bit hesitant to post that, but NY is a few games behind still also, don’t forget.