Only one team stood in the way of the Giants earning the coveted crown of fewest home runs in all of baseball last season.
Thanks a lot, Marlins.
Not one Giant finished the season with 20 home runs. Evan Longoria led the team with 16 long balls in 2018, which was a career-low for the third baseman.
With spring training wrapping up, it's time to turn the page and move on to 2019. And broadcaster Mike Krukow is optimistic there can be a power resurgence in San Francisco.
“Well, I think Evan Longoria is going to hit twenty plus,” Krukow said Wednesday on KNBR. “Last year he hit sixteen and missed a month. He was so out of whack the first couple of months of the season, after coming over to a new team after spending the first ten years of his career with one team. I think he’s in the comfort zone now, he’s had a great spring, he’s in great shape.”
Longoria, 33, is off to a strong start this spring. Going into Thursday's slate of games, he's batting .324 with two home runs. After getting a full season of the National League under his belt, the three-time All-Star could be a candidate for a bounce-back year.
Speaking of Belt ... Krukow believes the first baseman can finally crack the 20-homer mark, too.
"We keep waiting for Belt, he’s always had a chance to hit twenty," Krukow said. "He’s having a great spring and swinging the bat well right now, but when he got to camp, he kept the same weight as last year but with six percent less body fat."
Injuries have limited Belt to only 104 and 112 games the last two seasons, where he's knocked 18 and 14 home runs. The power has always been there, though his health has been a concern.
Now that Buster Posey is presumably healthy after hip surgery, Krukow sees the catcher flirting with 20 home runs for the first time since he hit 22 in 2014. The big name to watch, however, is Mac Williamson.
"I think those three guys can do it, but wouldn’t it be something if Mac Williamson got into that same groove as last summer? There’s a guy who can put up thirty," Krukow said.
Williamson might have the most raw power on the Giants' roster. A concussion cut down what should have been the best year of his career last season. While he's still competing to win a starting job in left field, a hot Williamson can produce some big power numbers.
The Giants has struggled mightily hitting the ball over the wall for years now. Is 2019 the year it's bombs away?
Until proven otherwise, there's always reasons for optimism.