Finally, a chance for The Curse of Balboni to be broken. I'm not saying it will happen this year, but I think it's a lock that within 5 years, the Royals HR record for an individual is bigger than 36. 36? What a ridiculous total. Only the Devil Rays had a lower total for team homers, which was promptly surpassed as Carlos Pena broke the 40 barrier for the Rays. Of the modern MLB franchises, no one, except the Royals, has less than 41. Of defunct MLB franchises, even those have the Royals beat. The Kansas City A's had someone hit 38! Assuming 600 ABs, hitting 40 is only 1 every 15 ABs, or roughly 1 every 4 games. 37 is a little easier at 1 every 16.2 ABs. My odds on who is going to break 36, after the jump.
Kila Ka'aihue - 60% (Kila is our version of Carlos Pena.)
Alex Gordon - 30% (if this year is a bust, this will drop to 0.)
Billy Butler - 20% (Will Billy ever find his power stroke?)
Eric Hosmer - 75% (By 2015 he surely will have a massive HR season under his belt, right?)
Mike Moustakas - 35% (I'm torn between his power, and his ability to walk like a Frenchman.)
Wil Myers - 0% (I don't think Wil is powerless, I just don't ever think he'll break 36, his peak power may be Sweeney-like, in the upper 20s. His odds go up by 10% if he were to change his first name to Will.)
The Field - 1% (Who else is there? Clint Robinson? Eibner? Derrick Robinson hitting 37 inside the park homers?)
Odds on 2011 being the year? - 25%
So am I being a complete homer here? I know this Spring Training has me excited for Gordon and Kila. Yuniesky Escobar has me excited with the power he is showing this spring, but I highly doubt that is for real. I'm at least hoping that means he's not a Joey Gathright playing SS. I think the best we can hope for this year is that Kila and Alex start off hot, and race each other to 36 like Mac and Sammy did to 61. The Royals won't be competitive this year without some serious career years from the starting rotation (Bruce Chen CYA anyone?), but a HR race could be fun to watch. Assuming Kila, Alex, and possibly Billy keep up their end of the bargain, I may follow up with weekly updates in a Fanshot. The Curse of Balboni must be broken!