In Major League Baseball, franchise home runs become obsolete faster than smartphones these days. This trend wasn’t strange for the Cleveland Indians this year, with fourteen major league clubs eclipsing their past home run highs. That includes the Tribe’s record 223, despite having a low start in the first few chilly months of the season.
But can the Indians keep riding a league-wide movement for the home run by surpassing this year’s performance in 2020? Well, roster turnover and regression could lead to fewer home runs with teams like the Yankees, Twins, and Astros continuing to rise at a record pace. Nonetheless, fans can expect a thrilling season next year similar to WV Online Gambling fans, though nothing is certain.
Across the league, fans will remember 2019 as the Home Run year. Major League hitters recorded 6,776 total homers, crashing the last overall record by a total of over 600. Additionally, almost half of the teams in the league clocked new franchise records for homers. That includes Minnesota’s all-time high of 307.
Four teams (Yankees, Dodgers, Twins, and Astros) eclipsed the last MLB team record in homers per season (267 set by the Yankees in 2018). Before last year, the team homers record of 264 set by the Mariners stood for over two decades. As such, people binge-watched the 2019 home runs like never before.
Next year, the Indians will try hard to mount another assault on their home run, but they may need to do it without the advantage of a smoother, harder baseball. Many have contended the baseball, saying that it was juiced to boost the fan interest in the game by increasing home runs. According to Commissioner Rob Manfred, a team of MLB-appointed scientists will be looking into the ball, looking for changes that can yield more consistent and predictable performance.
In the meantime, six Indian hitters increased their last career highs in the 2019 home runs. That includes Franmil Reyes, who previously recorded 27 in San Diego before joining Cleveland, hitting 10 in the two months this season. Rookie Oscar Mercado recorded 15 in 115 games, while Carlos Santana hit a career-high with 34.
The Cleveland Indians will be losing projected 18 homers from Jason Kipnis and up to 15 from Tyler Naquin, who’s nursing an injured knee. The Indians would be sure about breaking their 223 homer threshold if signing Yasiel Puig was possible. Puig has an average of 25 home runs in his 162-game career.
Next season, Bradly Zimmer will need to have enough time with the bat ahead of the season, before he can prove whether he has the power stroke to make a difference for their total home runs in 2020. Top prospect Nolan Jones also needs at least half the season at Triple-A establishing his power profile.
If the Indians are set to surpass their home runs franchise-record again next season, they’ll need to do it exactly like Minnesota did this year. After recording 166 homers in 2018, Minnesota signed Nelson Cruz Jr, who recorded a team-high of 41. The Twins also got career years from Max Kepler, Mitch Garver, and Miguel Sano. That means the Indians may need to add a bat through the free agency, a price they might not be willing to pay.