While the Blue Jays have had some home run happy teams in the past few years, none were as powerful as the 2010 roster, who are still 4th in MLB history.
The New York Yankees surpassed the 1997 Seattle Mariners for the most team home runs in MLB history in a single season. The previous record was 264 set by the ’97 Mariners who featured sluggers like Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, and a young Alex Rodriguez.
When looking at the leaderboard for best team seasons in MLB history, I wasn’t terribly surprised to see the Toronto Blue Jays listed in the top five performances of all-time. However, even though it wasn’t that long ago, I was a little surprised that it was the 2010 version of the squad that holds the highest team record.
I’ve been following this team religiously since the late 80’s-early 90’s, and yet I still had it in my head that the more recent performances in 2015 or 2016 were the top of the list for the Blue Jays. However, upon closer inspection it was the 2010 version of the team, which had an awful lot of firepower in it’s own right.
That year was the breakout campaign for Jose Bautista, as he hit a career high and MLB leading 54 home runs in 161 games as a 29 year old. While his power display was historic in Toronto, he wasn’t the only one leaving the yard with regularity. Vernon Wells was second on the team with 31 blasts, and the duo of Aaron Hill and Adam Lind added 26 and 23 respectively.
There were 23 more from a young third baseman named Edwin Encarnacion, and 20 a piece for both catcher John Buck, and first baseman Lyle Overbay. As if that wasn’t enough, they got 17 from shortstop Alex Gonzalez, and Travis Snider chipped in another 14 in just 82 games, further tantalizing fans with his power potential as a young player.
In total they finished with 257 round-trippers, and there’s a good chance that’ll stand as a top five finish for at least a few more seasons. The game seems to be trending in a more power-hungry way, but that is still a lot of home runs for one team in a single season.
For comparison sake, a 2015 Blue Jays team lead by Bautista, Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin and more, hit 232 home runs, and followed it up with 221 as a group in 2016. They put a similar number of 222 up on the board last year, and currently sit with 215 with two games to play, despite the lost season from Donaldson and the significant roster turnover.
A lot of things are going to change for the Blue Jays going forward, but as long as their home games as played in the homer-happy confines of the Rogers Centre, we should always have that to look forward to, even in a rebuild year. It’s going to be pretty hard to top what the 2010 team did in that department though, even if that team only finished 4th in the AL East, with a fairly decent 85 wins.