Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

MLB's most prolific home run-hitting teams

Twins set single-season record with 307 homers in 2019
@mattkellyMLB
September 30, 2019

The 2019 MLB season will always be remembered for the home run surge it brought. Among the home run marks set around the league: The Twins smashed through the single-season team home run record -- set by the Yankees just a year earlier -- by the final day of August.

The 2019 MLB season will always be remembered for the home run surge it brought.

Among the home run marks set around the league: The Twins smashed through the single-season team home run record -- set by the Yankees just a year earlier -- by the final day of August. Minnesota and a host of competitors re-wrote that page of the MLB record book several times in 2019, with the '19 campaign claiming the top four single-season homer totals in history, and five of the top 10.

Here are the teams atop MLB's all-time single-season home run list.

1. 2019 Twins: 307 homers
Top HR hitter: Nelson Cruz, 41
The "Bomba Squad" made history with time to spare. The Twins' march to the team home run record was a long time coming, and in the last inning of their last game of August, they surpassed the 2018 Bronx Bombers for the single-season record. Mitch Garver did the honors, crushing the record-setting long ball off the Tigers' Joe Jimenez. That one was just the capper of a six-homer day by Minnesota -- Garver homered twice, and Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz also went deep. The Twins' wide array of power sources on the record-setting day was fitting for the 2019 club. Eight different Twins reached the 20-homer mark -- Cruz (41), Kepler (36), Miguel Sano (34), Eddie Rosario (32), Garver (31), Cron (25), Jonathan Schoop (23) and Polanco (22) -- to make Minnesota the first team in MLB history to have eight 20-home-run hitters in a season.

2. 2019 Yankees: 306 homers
Top HR hitter: Gleyber Torres, 38
The pinstripes saw twin towers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton combine to play just 120 games ... but it didn't matter. The Yankees battled the Twins for the single-season record right down to the last day of the season, with Torres leading the way and catcher Gary Sanchez (34 homers) rebounding from a tough 2018 season. New York also got contributions from unlikely sources; DJ LeMahieu knocked 26 dingers after he wasn't listed on manager Aaron Boone's Opening Day lineup card, Brett Gardner slugged a career-high 28 homers in his age-35 season and Gio Urshela clubbed 21 to nearly triple his career total entering the campaign.

In a season that saw the Yankees' roster ravaged by injuries, New York saw 14 total players hit at least 10 round-trippers to set a Major League record.

3. 2019 Astros: 288 homers
Top HR hitter: Alex Bregman, 41
The 2019 Astros didn't set the single-season record for homers, but they did finish with the highest single-season team slugging percentage (.495), topping the '19 Twins by a single point. Alex Bregman took his ascension to superstar status to another level, clubbing a career-high 41 dingers while also leading the Majors with 119 walks and striking out just 83 times.

In fact, power without sacrificing contact was a hallmark of the entire Houston lineup: The Astros launched the third-most homers of any team in a single season while also striking out the least of any team in 2019.

4. 2019 Dodgers: 279 homers
Top HR hitter: Cody Bellinger, 47
Cody Bellinger got off to the hottest of starts, setting a Major League record with 14 homers before May 1 to launch himself into the NL MVP conversation. But Bellinger had plenty of help; Joc Pederson launched a career-high 36 dingers while Max Muncy showed his 2018 breakout was far from a fluke by equaling that season's total with 35 homers. Rookies Will Smith (15 homers in 170 at-bats), Alex Verdugo, Matt Beaty, Edwin Rios, Kyle Garlick and Gavin Lux combined for 45 dingers, showing that the Dodgers' future should be packed with plenty more power.

5. 2018 Yankees: 267 homers
Top HR hitter: Giancarlo Stanton, 38
Expectations were high for the 2018 Yankees to challenge the team homer mark, especially after New York pulled off its blockbuster trade for Stanton in the offseason. But the Bronx Bombers' path to 267 took some unexpected turns. Judge, coming off a historic 52-homer rookie season, missed more than a month and a half with a fractured wrist, and Sanchez also missed significant time and had his share of struggles. Still, both Judge (27 homers) and Sanchez (18) played a role in the Yankees' at the time record-setting season, as did stellar rookie campaigns from Miguel Andujar (27) and Torres (24) and career years from Didi Gregorius (27) and Aaron Hicks (27). The Yankees had 12 players reach double-digit homers, setting a Major League record in that category that would be topped again the following year.

6. 1997 Mariners: 264 homers
Top HR hitter: Ken Griffey Jr., 56
This was the first of two straight seasons in which Griffey would tie for his career high with 56 homers, and also the year of his only AL MVP Award. He was supported by Jay Buhner (40 homers), who also took advantage of the homer-friendly Kingdome with his third straight year of 40-plus homers. Somewhat surprisingly, the Mariners clubbed this many dingers despite a "down" year from Alex Rodriguez, who followed up his amazing 1996 campaign (.358/.414/.631, 36 HR), with just 23 homers in 638 plate appearances. A-Rod would subsequently hit at least 40 bombs in each of the next six seasons.

7. 2005 Rangers: 260 homers
Top HR hitter: Mark Teixeira, 43
Teixeira established himself as one of baseball's premier power hitters, slugging .575 and driving in 144 runs while playing in all 162 games and supplying Gold Glove-caliber defense at first base. Tex got plenty of support from Alfonso Soriano, who hit 30 of his 36 total homers out of the No. 5 spot, along with David Dellucci (29), Hank Blalock (25), Kevin Mench (25), Michael Young (24) and Rod Barajas (21). In fact, this Rangers team tied a big league record with nine players knocking at least 15 roundtrippers.

8 (tie). 2019 A's: 257 homers
Top HR hitters: Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, 36
Oakland's top slugger, Khris Davis, struggled in a 23-homer campaign just one year after leading the Majors with 48, but his teammates picked up the slack. Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, the A's co-stars, fittingly tied for the team lead, with Olson averaging a homer for every 13 at-bats after he came off the injured list in early May. Marcus Semien exploded for a career-best 33 round-trippers after combining for 25 over the prior two seasons, and Stephen Piscotty (13 HR in 93 games) and Josh Phegley (12 in 106) made the most of their limited playing time.

8 (tie). 2010 Blue Jays: 257 homers
Top HR hitter: Jose Bautista, 54
Bautista's 54-homer campaign represents one of the most dramatic breakouts in recent history. The journeyman third baseman-turned-outfielder had knocked 59 total dingers over six seasons before setting the Blue Jays' franchise record in 2010 and winning MLB's home run crown. Bautista's 41-homer increase from '09 to '10 set an MLB record for the largest single-season increase, but Toronto featured plenty of boom behind him with six other 20-plus-homer hitters.

8 (tie). 1996 Orioles: 257 homers
Top HR hitter: Brady Anderson, 50
Anderson's breakout is one of the more random 50-homer seasons in history, considering he had never previously topped 21 and never hit more than 24 afterward. Baltimore's 257 roundtrippers shattered the previous record of 240 set by the Yankees 35 years prior, and the Orioles needed them all to support a pitching staff that finished with a 5.15 ERA. With fellow stars Rafael Palmeiro, Bobby Bonilla, Cal Ripken Jr. and Roberto Alomar homering behind Anderson, the O's slugged their way to the AL Championship Series before falling to the Yanks in five games.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com.