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2019: The Year of the Bomba Squad

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These guys are anything but the Piranhas of seasons past.

The 2019 Minnesota Twins crushed 307 bombas to set MLB record.
© Craig Nordeen 2019. www.craignordeen.com

Before the start of the season, I scribbled a piece in which I projected the 2019 Twins to hit roughly 250 home runs. Methought my math made sense. But even then—253 home runs? C’mon. Not happening. At least not with this team. After all, we’re talking about the Minnesota Twins.

Fast forward seven months. Henceforth, the Twins 2019 season will forever be known as The Year of the Bomba Squad. This beloved ball club of ours has never been much of a powerhouse in the power department. They had their moments in the early ’60s, late ’80s, and early ’90s. But none of us had witnessed anything quite like this year.

As Bret Boone’s favorite T-shirt from 2001 eloquently put it: Chicks Dig The Long Ball. So we should probably get to the point of this piece. The Long Ball. The Big Fly. The Bomba. But before we do, please take two minutes to watch Bret Boone in what is easily one of the best things in the history of the internet.

I certainly can’t top whatever the hell it is you just watched. But maybe you’ll learn something equally profound as knowing that Bret Boone was/is—by all appearances—a proud polygamist. Or at least a two-timing sonuvabitch with zero shame.

But I digress. It’s time to talk about bombas and their place in Minnesota Twins history. Take a look-see at these numbers. And then let’s pray that the Bomba Squad out-bombas the Bronx Bombers, reversing the curse while Nelson Cruzing our way to the World Series. Deal? Deal.

Player Stats

  • Players with three or more bombas in a game: Bob Allison, 3 (1963); Harmon Killebrew, 3 (1963); Tony Oliva, 3 (1973); Justin Morneau, 3 (2007); Max Kepler, 3 (2016, 2019); Brian Dozier, 3 (2016); Eddie Rosario, 3 (2017, 2018); Byron Buxton, 3 (2107); Nelson Cruz, 3 (2019).
  • Most bombas in a season: Harmon Killebrew, 49 (1964, 1969)
  • Fewest bombas in a season: Too many players to list, 0
  • Most career bombas: Harmon Killebrew, 559 (1954–1974)
  • Fewest career bombas (at least 1,000 at-bats): Al Newman, 0 (1987–1991)
  • Most career All-Star Game bombas: Harmon Killebrew, 3 (1961, 1965, 1971)
  • Most career postseason bombas: Kirby Puckett, 5 (1987–1991)
  • Fewest at-bats per bomba in a season: Mitch Garver, 10.0 (2019)
  • Fewest at-bats per bomba in a career: Harmon Killebrew, 13.0 (1954–1974)
  • Longest bomba: Harmon Killebrew, 522’ (1967)

Franchise Stats

  • Most bombas in a single game: 8 (1963, 2019)
  • Most bombas in a season: 307 (2019)
  • Fewest bombas in a season: 47 (1981*) *Strike-shortened season: 110 games

2019 Franchise & Player Stats/Milestones

  • First team in MLB history to have eight players with 20 or more bombas in a season: Cruz (41), Kepler (36), Miguel Sano (34), Eddie Rosario (32), Garver (31), Cron (25), Jonathan Schoop (23), Polanco (22)
  • First team in MLB history to have five players with 30 or more bombas in a season: Cruz (41), Kepler (36), Miguel Sano (34), Eddie Rosario (32), Garver (31)
  • 307 bombas: MLB single-season record
  • 100th career bomba: C.J. Cron (5/18/19), Miguel Sanó (7/23/19), Eddie Rosario (8/14/19)
  • 400th career bomba: Nelson Cruz (9/22/19)
  • Team-best bombas: Nelson Cruz, 41
  • Team-worst bombas (at least 200 at-bats): Luis Arraez, 4
  • Longest bomba: 482’ (Miguel Sanó)
  • Average bomba distance: 415’ (Jason Castro, Miguel Sanó)
  • Bomba with fastest exit velocity: 116 mph (C.J. Cron)