Power numbers are down in Major League Baseball’ steroid testing era. But apparently Jose Bautista didn’t get the memo.
Through 50 games, Bautista has hit 19 home runs, and is on pace to hit 62. Only three players (Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa) have hit more than 62 in a season. And Bautista has already missed eight games this season, or he might have even more.
As we near the one-third mark of the season, we can now start looking at Bautista’s pace and wonder if he can threaten the single-season home run record, a record that has been in doubt since it was revealed that both McGwire and Bonds used performance enhancing drugs.
There is still a long ways to go, but so far, Bautista is ahead of the paces of both Babe Ruth and Roger Maris. But we can also see that he is well-off the Bonds’ pace set in 2001. In fact, this is the point in the season when Bonds went on his biggest surge, hitting 13 home runs in one 13 games stretch.
As long as Bautista can avoid missing long stretches of games, we could be in for a home run record chase as the summer begins to warm up.
Data via baseball-reference.com