Dan Beyer of Fox Sports Radio had some pretty bold predictions during a segment for the Doug Gottlieb Show on Thursday (with Beyer and Jonas Knox filling in), with the duo predicting what sorts of milestones and events will occur in the sports universe during the next decade.
Some of the most notable predictions for the 2020’s were all professional sports leagues fully legalizing marijuana, Mexico City getting an NBA franchise, and the Oklahoma Sooners splitting to the Pac-12 to create a Pac-16, but easily the boldest and perhaps most unhinged, was Beyer predicting that an MLB player will have a 100 home run season.
The uptick in home runs around Major League Baseball was staggering in 2019, with a league-wide 21.3% increase from 2018 to 2019 after an MLB-record 6,676 home runs were launched this season, compared to 5,585 last year.
Beyer believes Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could not only break Barry Bonds’ single-season record of 73 home runs, but hit triple digits in a new age of launch angles and modified baseballs.
Is 100 home runs even humanly possible? Maybe.
In Bonds’ 73 home run season in 2001, he registered 664 plate appearances in 153 games, but let’s not forget he was walked 177 times, thus only attaining 476 official at bats. That averages out to a home run every 6.52 ABs. If Bonds is walked 100 less times and notches 576 at bats, a number typical for modern sluggers, and stays on his 6.52 AB/HR total, it comes out to 88 home runs. In 2001, 5458 home runs were hit around the MLB, 24.1% less than 2019. With the juiced baseball 'inflation' adjusted, that's another 21 home runs to Bonds' 88, coming out to 109.
So, yes, although nearly impossible considering the unwillingness of pitchers to throw the ball in the strike zone to home run hitters, Bonds 'could have' physically hit 100 home runs in a season with a standard number of at bats, playing with the modern baseballs of today. Well, um, we think so, at least.
Kansas City Royals outfielder Whit Merrifield led the league in at bats last season with 681. One hundred home runs at that pace would obviously be a home run every 6.81 at bats. Bonds is the only player in history to ever break the 7 AB/HR ratio [6.52], with Mark McGwire in 1998 [7.27] the only player in MLB history besides Bonds to ever go lower than 8 AB/HR.
Last season’s leader was Mike Trout with 10.44 AB/HR and the active leader is Giancarlo Stanton during the 2017 season with 10.12 AB/HR.
Check out the full audio below.