Can Hill Hit 43?

As I mentioned in the last Shitty Loss post, Aaron Hill's 31 home runs have him within grasp of at least the American League record for home runs by a second baseman, which is the 39 that Alfonso Soriano hit for the Yankees in 2002. The Major League record may be a bit more difficult, as National League second basemen Rogers Hornsby and Davey Johnson each hit 42, in 1922 and 1973, respectively.

In the last 5 weeks, or so, of the season, the Blue Jays have 35 games left. 15 of those games are at home, where Hill has hit 19 of his homers. A reasonable expectation of 2 or 3 more hit at the Rogers Centre is not out of the question, I don't think. The home games come against the Yankees, Twins, Orioles, and Mariners, who have given Hill 7 of his home runs this season.

Putting him in the 33-34 home run range with 21 games left on the road, a good chunk of those games come in home run friendly ballparks. 5 games at Fenway Park, 4 games in Arlington, and 2 games at Yankee Stadium. They also have 3 games left at Tropicana Field, 3 at Camden Yards, and 4 at Comerica Park. He has 6 home runs in those ballparks on the year, so I don't think assuming that he'll average about one home run per road series here on out is too crazy, either. Six home runs in those 6 series put him up in the Soriano range at 39 or 40. This season, against the teams the Jays still face on the road, Hill has gone deep a total of 15 times.

So, I don't think that matching (or passing) Soriano's mark is out of the realm of possibility. Coincidentally, on this date in '02, Soriano also had 31 home runs (Johnson had 36, while Hornsby had 32 in his 154 game season), so if Hill just does what he's been doing all year, I think he has a real shot at putting his name in the record book and having at least one positive thing come out of this awful season the Blue Jays have been having.

Also worth noting, Ranger's second baseman Ian Kinsler is not far behind Hill's home run total with 28 of his own (he may even be ahead of Hill had he not spent a few weeks on the disabled list earlier in the season), so if he gets hot, Hill may find himself needing to stay ahead of Kinsler in order to just lead the league in home runs for second basemen.

1 comment:

Ian H. said...

According to HR Pace.com, Hill is on pace for 38.88 HR (I'm not exactly sure what a .88 of a home run is).

I don't know if he can break Soriano's record, but I think he'll make it to 35. SLUGGER!