Now that the Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton has hit an (obviously) Major League Baseball Leading 53 home runs, it’s impossible not to think about 60 or more and even more difficult not to constantly be talking about him and rooting for him.
It’s really no surprise. Anyone who watches baseball is knows that Stanton probably could have hit this many home runs in seasons past. Injuries have derailed the six foot six inch, 245 pound slugger almost each year of his career.
In his eight years in the big leagues the most games Stanton has ever played in in a single season is 150. The next closest total? 145 in 2014. You may remember him having a year similar to this one that season but in a freak accident he was hit in the face with a pitch by former Milwaukee Brewers’ pitchers Mike Fiers rendering him out for the rest of the season.
Despite the season ending a month later, Stanton STILL lead the league with 37 home runs. We all knew that what Stanton would one day be capable of if he could just stay healthy the entire season. Now, that said we have to get through the next month, however, he is so close to reaching the magic number of 60 that it may not take him the entire month to eclipse Roger Maris‘ long-time record of 61.
Of course, Stanton wouldn’t be the first one to reach this milestone but only five other players, including Maris, have ever hit 60-plus homers in a season. Of those five only Maris and Babe Ruth did not do so during what has been dubbed the “Steriod Era.” The other three being Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds. And although Bonds refuses to admit what he did, there is no doubt that he was also on steroids when he hit 73 homers in 2001.
Should Stanton indeed reach 60 home runs he will be the sixth player to do so but just the third to accomplish the feat while not on steroids. Ruth his 60 in 1927 and Maris hit the magic number of 62 in 1961.
Now that I’ve put what Stanton is doing in it’s historical context, let’s look at where he currently stands at 53, in the context of other legitimate power hitters in 2017.
He has three other players on his tail with 37 homers each: Justin Smoak of the Toronto Blue Jays, Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers and perhaps surprisingly to anyone outside of the city of Oakland – Oakland Athletics’ left fielder Khris Davis.
Davis may be a surprise due to his small 5 foot 10 inch frame but after hitting 42 home runs last season, he’s on pace to eclipse that number this year and has proven himself to be one of the leagues’elite power hitters.
Still those three players, Davis, Smoak and Gallo each have just one more home run that Bellinger meaning Stanton is leading all of Major League Baseball by a whopping 16 homers. And he leads Judge by 15.
That’s pretty ridiculous and quite honestly just fun to talk about. It’s exciting to watch, not quite like the home run race between McGwire and Sosa in 1998, but knowing that Stanton is playing this well clean makes it almost more exciting. You can’t help but talk about it and I can’t speak for everyone but I can’t imagine not rooting for him to eclipse 60.