Last season the Giants were one of the most power-starved teams in the Major Leagues. Only the Marlins hit fewer home runs. The 2012 team, which is roughly the same as this one but a couple years younger, hit even fewer, finishing dead last in baseball. You have to go back to 2010 to find a Giants team that didn’t finish in the bottom third of the league.
Yet in the first week of the young season the Giants offense has come to life with 11 home runs over seven games to lead the majors. The 11 homers is already over 10% of the total from last season with just 4% of the season complete.
All though the Giants haven’t made many wholesale changes to the team over the last few seasons the new power production really shouldn’t be that unexpected. What was more unusual was the curious lack of home runs over the last couple of seasons despite the collection of talent the Giants had.
When you look down the Giants lineup there are five guys in Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt and Michael Morse who could very easily put up 15-20 home run seasons. The rest of the lineup and bench are capable of chipping in some homers, as well.
The only traditional “slugger” in the Giants lineup would be Morse. However, it would be tough to depend on him to carry too much of the load for two reasons — he has surpassed 18 homers only once, and the Giants plan to take him out of the lineup after three plate appearances for a late inning defensive replacement in most games.
If the Giants are able to maintain even 70% of this pace this could be the best home run hitting team since Barry Bonds started in left field. With the pitching still a question mark beyond Madison Bumgarner, the Giants will need all of the help from the offense they can get.
The 2010 Giants hit 162 home runs, which seems like a good number to shoot for. As long as Posey, Pence, Sandoval and Belt stay healthy, I’ll take the over.