The Oakland Athletics pumped out five home runs in a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox right out of the All-Star break. If they continue to hit bombs at this pace, they will set new franchise power marks.
The Green and Gold missed the postseason for the fourth consecutive season and were in the midst of an eight-year playoff drought (from 1992-200).
But, in the middle of the steroid era, that offense put together the greatest power campaign in franchise history.
McGwire hit 52 – his first of four seasons in a row with at least 50 and the lowest mark in that streak – and Berroa (36) and Steinbach (35) both destroyed their career highs.
That team hit 236 home runs, and no team has come close to that record since – until the 2019 Oakland Athletics, who are on pace to shatter many of those records.
Through 94 games, the A’s have hit 150 home runs – good for only sixth in MLB – which is around 1.6 bombs per game. Over a 162-game season, that would be (approx.) 259 home runs, 22 more than the previous record.
It has come from the top down: aside from Khris Davis, who has missed major time due to injury after starting the season on a surge, every everyday player is having a career power year, and even the platoon outfielders and utility men have made huge contributions.
Matt Chapman has already hit a team-high 21 bombs, good enough to earn him a spot in the HR Derby, and is only three behind his total from 2018.
Despite missing the first month-plus of the season, Matt Olson has jacked 19 homers in only 228 at-bats, including seven in his last 15 games, and is well over halfway to last year’s 29 in less than 40% of the at-bats.
Ramon Laureano has hit 18 jimmies, including 13 in his last 40 games, 10 in his last 26 games and five in his last eight games.
Khris Davis is in an eerily similar spot as last year: Davis hit 27 of his 48 home runs in his last 62 games, starting with two on July 22. He hit one home run in the 27 games prior to July 22nd. Davis hit 10 jacks in the first 17 games this season and has hit only six in the last 60, his last one coming on June 18.
If those four continue producing at their current rate – with Davis’s expected jump – they can become the first quartet in franchise history to each hit 30 home runs in a season.
You add Marcus Semien’s 14, Mark Canha’s 13 (in 173 at-bats), Jurickson Profar’s 11, Stephen Piscotty and Josh Phegley’s nine each, Chad Pinder’s seven and Robbie Grossman’s five, and this team could also be the first in Oakland Athletics’ history to have six players hit 20 home runs and eight guys hit 10 bombs (they are one Josh Phegley home run from breaking the latter mark).
This team may be aided by juiced baseballs – almost certainly – but they may go down in history as the most powerful Swingin’ A’s unit of all-time, and if they continue mashing, maybe it brings them on a deep playoff run. And they’re doing all of this at Oakland Coliseum.
I’m excited to keep watching them clear the fences, and you should be too.