The team that was supposed to break Major League Baseball's single-season home run record in 2019 has big-name sluggers from top to bottom.
In other words, not the Minnesota Twins.
In addition to an outstanding 47-24 record, the Twins have racked up 137 home runs thus far in 2019. That leads MLB, and their average of 1.93 homers per game works out to a full-season pace of 313. That would be 46 more than the record-setting 267 that the New York Yankees hit last season.
The Twins aren't slowing down, either. In fact, their home runs per game are going up by the month:
This is impressive stuff for an offense that has only one player in line for a starting gig in next month's All-Star Game. For that matter, Minnesota's offense has only four hitters who've previously been All-Stars. Veteran slugger Nelson Cruz is the only one who's been to the Midsummer Classic more than once.
Hence an obligatory question: How the heck is a team that has nary a Giancarlo Stanton nor an Aaron Judge doing this?
The Twins didn't exactly plant a seed for this season's home run outburst in 2018. They hit only 166 home runs last year, which ranked 12th in the American League.
Still, Eddie Rosario and Max Kapler hit a respectable 44 homers combined last season. Looking ahead to 2019, the Twins could hope for more from Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco, Jason Castro and even Mitch Garver, who had been a power-hitting catcher in the minors as recently as 2017.
However, power was a big item on the Twins' winter shopping list, as evidenced by their signing of Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez, Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron as free agents. The four of them combined to hit 104 home runs in 2018, and they're living up to that standard with 49 homers thus far in 2019.