Opening Day is now only 24 days away, and as we all know, the Yankees are the definition of lock-and-loaded, offensively speaking, that is. Many are saying that this lineup is already historical. How can this team etch its name into the baseball history books?
Well, there are some records that are accessible for this team to beat. If they can break any of these records, it is best case scenario. However, no fan should go into the season thinking the season would be a failure if they cannot even sniff these records. Having said that, let’s take a look at the records that are accessible for the 2018 New York Yankees:
Most Home Runs By A Single Team
Believe it or not, the 2017 Yankees ended the season with 241 home runs, which is the 9th most by any team in a single season. What is the record they are trying to beat?
The 1997 Seattle Mariners — 264 Home Runs.
The Yankees managed to become a historical top 10 home run hitting team despite the fact that El Gary Sanchez missed a month of baseball and Greg Bird missed a majority of the season. Unlikely suspects came to play. Aaron Judge played 155 games and put up a historical 52 home runs. Aaron Hicks, who began the season splitting time with Jacoby Ellsbury, had a complete 180 of a season from 2016 and put up 15 home runs. Most impressively, Didi Gregorius put up 25 home runs, something I personally never could have imagined from the Emoji King.
As we all know, the Yankees are now an even bigger home run threat with NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton in the mix of the lineup. All of the signs are pointing to a home run upgrade. But what are the keys for the Yankees to break this record?
- Aaron Judge does not take a step back in his sophomore season
- Gary Sanchez no DL stint
- Greg Bird can’t miss a majority of the season
- Brett Gardner, a leadoff hitter, manages to hit another 20 HRs (21 in 2017)
- 30+ home runs from 2nd/3rd base (Castro and Headley combined for 28 home runs in 2017)
For a full in-depth breakdown of what it takes to break the record read Jake’s write up.
Non-Steroid Single Season Home Run Record
The single-season home run record has been shattered in the record books… multiple times for that matter. However, the legitimacy of the single-season home run record is in shambles ever since Mark McGwire broke the 61 home run mark in 1998. Steroid users have far and away surpassed Roger Maris’ 61 home run mark which he set, coincidentally, in 1961. It was a season for the ages for Maris. However, the use of steroids made this record easily passable to some of the elite hitters at the turn of the century.
The 60 home run mark seems to be that number that no clean player can reach. It’s an unbelievable amount for one season that nobody, excluding players from 1997-2007 have come close to. The closest to reach this mark? Giancarlo Stanton in 2017 with 59 home runs.
To me, Giancarlo Stanton deserved more national recognition for almost hitting 60 home runs. It should have been top headlines on SportsCenter, the sports back pages, and any other sports media outlets. It was truly remarkable what Stanton did in 2017.
Now, Stanton is a Yankee. I firmly believe he will break this record one of his season in pinstripes sooner rather than later for one reason and one reason only: He hit 59 home runs in MARLINS PARK… the toughest hitters park in MLB. Transitioning from Marlins Park to Yankee Stadium is like an adult transitioning to a Little League field. The last player to hit 59 home runs? Take a look yourself.
Message to Giancarlo (heck, message to Aaron Judge as well): Stay healthy and shoot for the short porch in right. 62 home runs is doable… And who knows, why not 74?
Single Season Home Run Record By A Catcher
In 2016, Gary Sanchez shocked the world when he got called into the big leagues in August of 2016. He put up a power display for the ages as he finished the season with a remarkable 20 home runs. In 2 months of 6 month season, Gary Sanchez nearly hit half the home run record by a catcher. This record is 43 home runs, set by Javy Lopez in 2003.
As mentioned before, Sanchez missed a month of baseball, but still ended with 33 home runs. 43 home runs is an extraordinarily difficult accomplishment for a catcher, as they have their scheduled off days. However, El Gary has an incredible opportunity to reach this record. If not this year, one day in the future.
*Todd Hundley (1996, 41), Roy Campanella (1953, 40), and Mike Piazza (1997 & 1999, 40) are the only other catchers to reach 40 HR mark*
Most Players Under 30 To Hit More Than 30
Young power hitters — the trend of MLB offenses in 2018. Though there have been multiple teams to have 2 players under 30 years old to hit 30 home runs (most recently Goldschmidt/Lamb, Machado/Schoop, Rizzo/Schwarber, Judge/Stanton) there has never been a team with 3 players under 30 years old to hit 30+ home runs.
Yankees have a very legitimate chance to double this record. Gary Sanchez (25), Aaron Judge (25), Greg Bird (25), and Giancarlo Stanton (28) are the contenders. 3 of the 4 are I would say almost a guarantee, pending injuries. However, if Greg Bird finally lives up to his potential, the Yankees will double this record come the postseason.
Most Championships By A Single Franchise In Sports
Alright, well, I guess we already know who holds this record with 27. But the Astros apparently have this dynasty and they are creeping up with a whopping 1 championship. The Yankees can miss all of the records above, but if this is the only one that hits, that is the most important.
I cannot believe that Justin didn’t include this one. It may be the most exciting of the bunch.
Most HRs By An Infielder Born In The Netherlands
Didi Gregorius is on the verge of breaking the record for the most home runs by an infielder that was born in the Netherlands for the 5th time.
In 2013, Didi broke the record of 1 HR, set by the great Robert Eenhoorn in 1997, by hitting 7 home runs. He then broke the record once again in 2015, hitting 9 home runs. In 2016, he set a new record for the second consecutive year, hitting 20 HRs. 2017 was the three-peat, as he broke his 20 HR record with a whopping 25 home runs.
If Didi hits 26 this season, he will break the record for most home runs by an infielder born in the Netherlands for the 5th time. That’s a record that will not be broken. Keep your eyes peeled.