HRs Dominate MLB, but 2018 Yankees are Next Level
We don't need to talk about launch angles and exit velocity. The facts many fans still care most about are easy to digest, as upsetting as they may be to baseball "purists."
Players are hitting home runs (and striking out) at historic rates with each new Major League Baseball season that arrives. I'm not suggesting 74 home runs in a season is attainable for a single player, but I am saying that no pitch is safe and no spot in the order is filled by a light-hitting Gold Glover. That last belief is highlighted best by what the 2018 New York Yankees have achieved.
This is a team built around the home run and it has long been on pace to at the very least challenge the single season team record set by the 1997 Mariners. Seattle hit 264 homers that year and on Saturday, the Yankees passed that number. Four home runs on Friday night tied the mark and then Gleyber Torres, batting ninth, went deep in the fifth inning at Fenway Park to break the all-time mark. A Giancarlo Stanton home run moved that total to 266 with one more regular season game to go.
Not only do the Yankees now own that team record, the Torres home run put this version of the Bronx Bombers on a plane all its own. Every spot in the order, one through nine, has produced 20 or more home runs. That has never happened before. Of course it hasn't. It's an insanely absurd stat that every spot in the order might be filled by what used to pass for a power hitter.
I have long thought the home run is not a reliable game plan in the postseason. Much the way I've felt about the three-pointer in the NBA playoffs. But, maybe these Yankees are the Warriors will defy all that thinking?