After watching the documentary on Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, we look at who could break the single-season home run record for the San Diego Padres.
Coincidentally enough, the San Diego Padres home run record was also set during the 1998 season when apparently baseballs were just flying out of the park.
ESPN just released their documentary ‘Long Gone Summer’ recapturing that thrilling summer as the two went back-and-forth.
During that same season, Greg Vaughn blew by ken Caminiti’s record of 40 home runs in a season by hitting 50.
Phil Nevin is second on the Padres all-time list in single-season home runs after hitting 41 in 2001.
The last Padres player to even come close was Adrian Gonzalez who hit 36 home runs in 2008 and 40 home runs in 2009.
But watching that documentary got me to thinking, can anyone currently on the Padres break Vaughn’s record?
Let’s start with the obvious, Petco Park is not a great venue for home run hitters.
It’s gotten better since the remodel in 2012, but it’s still not considered a hitter-friendly park.
Machado hit a 32 long balls in his first season with San Diego in 2019 and hit a career-high 37 in 2018.
That’s still far cry from 50 for the 27-year-old. But Vaughn set the record at 32 years old, so perhaps Machado gets more power as he gets older (does it still work like that.?).
Tatis hit 22 home runs in 84 games during his rookie season, so that’s nearly a home run every four games or a home run every 15.1 at-bats.
That averages out to about 40-42 home runs over a full season.
But again, Tatis is only 21 years old, so it’s possible he grows into a little more pop.
There isn’t really a prospect right now that screams that a potential 50 home run season is coming.
Hudson Potts has shown good power in the minors, but still not enough to think he could hit 50-plus one day.
Perhaps the real threat to break Vaugn’s record was just drafted in Robert Hassell III.
Power is the one thing scouts say he’s missing, but it’s also what many believe could be his best attribute as he gets older.
Obviously it’s impossible to project what a high school player will become, but certainly, it’s fun to dream about a 50-plus home run season from Hassell someday.
Who do you think has the best chance to break the Padres single-season home run in the future in the comments below.