Home run derby

With another three long balls during last night’s 10-9 loss, the Blue Jays have now homered in a season-high 11 straight games, hitting 20 overall during that span. They’ve also gone yard in 15 of their last 16, and have hit 40 total since July 22 (23 games). That ties them for third-most in the majors over that stretch (the Yankees lead with 43).

Individually, Aaron Hill has wielded the most power among Blue Jay regulars this year. His 28 homers lead the club entering action Wednesday night. Hill’s 28 also leads all second basemen in the majors, as well as all No. 2 hitters in the league. He’s already set a club record for a second baseman, and has posted the most homers by an American League middle infielder since Alfonso Soriano hit 35 with the Texas Rangers in 2005.

Meanwhile, Adam Lind ranks second on the Jays with 24 (Vernon Wells has half that total, at 12). So, it appears the home run title will come down to Hill and Lind as the season winds to a close.

But wait just a second. If we expand things to look at the entire Blue Jays organization, another name comes into the fold: Randy Ruiz. The slugging DH/first baseman belted 25 homers at Triple-A Las Vegas before earning a recent call up to Toronto, where he has already hit three long balls in six games (including a second-inning solo shot off Boston’s Josh Beckett last night). That gives Ruiz 28 overall, tying Hill for the organizational lead.

So it looks like it’s a three-man race. But wait! Let’s throw a fourth into the mix: Brian Dopirak.

Dopirak, after all, has 26 homers in 2009 — he hit 19 at Double-A New Hampshire and has already hit another 7 at Las Vegas. And he may just be the next offensive player to receive a call up to the big club. In 32 games since his promotion to Triple-A, Dopirak has hit .331 with those seven long balls, eight doubles and 22 RBI. The 25-year-old has also posted a slugging percentage of .544 and an OPS of .905.

With no playoff race to cheer about, the least we can do is enjoy some Jays hitting some dingers. So, let the homers fly!


2 Responses to “Home run derby”

  1. Ian Says:

    The way the Jays are hitting right now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Lind & Hill hit 30+HR this year. Can you imagine? Who would’ve ever guessed that at the beginning of this season!?

  2. Jay B Says:

    and to add to that, if i told you at the beginning of the yr that lind and hill would each have 30hr, and each close in on 100rbi, would you have believed me if i also said they’d be 17.5 games back of 1st, and 12.5 back of the wild card, 100+ games in? couple that with the fact that scutaro has been among the elite leadoff men in the league, and it really hilites the impact that vernon and rios’s down yr has had, and the hole that snider left when he showed that he wasn’t ready for the bigs…

    reasonable contributions from those 3, and we’re proly in the thick of the WC race…

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