FanPost

The Balboni Watch?

Like it or not, Jose Guillen has played in all 52 games this season and is "on pace" to hit and 34 HR and 103 RBI after nearly a third of the season.  There are major doubts that Guillen will keep this pace up.  ZIPS(RoS) projects a more reasonable finish of 23 HR and 80 RBI for JoGui. 

If we were to suspend skepticism and advanced statistics for a moment and Guillen makes a run at 36 HR, should we celebrate what might be the best power output by a Royals hitter since Jermaine Dye cranked out 33 HR and 118 RBI?  Or would Guillen holding the Royals single-season HR title be your worst nightmare, like Larry Johnson holding the Chiefs' rushing title?

Taking a look at the challengers to Balboni's record since 1985:

Player (Age) Season HR @ 52 Games HR @ 162 Games Prev. Player High
         
D. Tartabull (24) 1987 8 34 25
         
Bo Jackson (26) 1989 12 32 25
         
Gary Gaetti (36) 1995 15 35 34
         
Chili Davis (37) 1997 6 30 29
         
Dean Palmer (29) 1998 12 34 38
         
Jermaine Dye (26) 2000 14 33 27
         
Jose Guillen (34) 2010 11 ? 31*
         

So Jose Guillen wouldn't be the oldest to challenge the Balboni mark.  Tartabull and Davis had fewer through 52 games yet still hit 30 HR on the season.  Dean Palmer is the only other Royal besides JoGui to have hit at least 30 HR in a prior season (*Note: Guillen's 31 in 2003 were split between Oakland and Cincinatti).

Is the fact that there were 4 challengers between '95 and '00 a testament to the front office valuing HR hitters more than the current regime, or a reflection of the steroid era (without pointing any fingers at the 4 on the list and noting that Grimsley wasn't on the roster until '01)?

JoGui's career splits would lend to the assumption that his power numbers will cool off as the season grinds on:

Split G PA HR
April/March 253 949 34
May 317 1253 42
June 273 1078 40
July 229 891 32
August 240 959 33
Sept/Oct 242 928 25

With all of that said, I can't help but think if anyone other than Jose Guillen had hit 11 HR at this point in the season, the most optimistic of us might dream of someone finally breaking Balboni's record.  As it is, most of us hope he can keep it up just long enough to be traded for a prospect.  Any prospect.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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