In 1997, the Colorado Rockies set a franchise record that still stands today by hitting 239 home runs that season.
The Blake Street Bombers, led by that season’s MVP and now Hall of Fame inductee, Larry Walker and his 49 home runs, Andres Galarraga (41), Vinny Castilla (40), Ellis Burks (32), and Dante Bichette (26) made up one of the most feared lineups in Major League Baseball.
After hitting a franchise second-best 224 home runs last season, the Rockies have a chance of creating a new version of the Blake Street Bombers and do something that the original couldn’t.
Not only could they break the franchise home run record and match them with four players hitting at least 30 home runs, they could one-up them and have five players accomplish that feat.
Reasons they will
It would be shocking if Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story do not get over the 30 home run threshold. The two have combined to hit 151 homers over the last two seasons and that includes Nolan hitting 37 or more in five consecutive seasons.
In the last four seasons, Charlie Blackmon has not hit less than 29 HR in a year. Unless he has a drop off, his numbers should remain around that magic number of 30. The question is will he get to it?
Getting two more players to join the 30-home-run club may be difficult since they have never done it before, however, there are two likely candidates.
In his first full season in the Majors in ’19, Ryan McMahon hit 24 dingers even with the Rockies limiting his at-bats against left-handed pitching. As the projected everyday second baseman and another year of experience, he easy could have a breakout season.
The fifth and final possible Blake St. Bomber is David Dahl. Last season, Dahl hit 15 home runs in 100 games. He undoubtedly has the power to hit 30 HR, he just needs to be on the field long enough to get there.
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Reasons they won’t
Starting with the obvious, if Nolan is traded, the Rockies won’t get there. If his trade is truly “inevitable” as has been suggested, the only possible way the Rockies get to that fifth Bomber is if they acquire someone such as Kris Bryant in a trade.
Another obvious reason is injuries. Any major injury would derail the chances of getting there. This is not far fetched considering Dahl has struggled with injuries all throughout his young career. Also, don’t forget that Story has had his run-ins with the injury bug and Blackmon landed on the Injured List in ’19.
Speaking of Chuck Nazty, will manager Bud Black give him enough at-bats to get to 30? The 33-year-old has already seen his playing time dip the last two seasons as Black has tried to keep him fresh with regular days off. It is safe to say that those days off will continue if not become more frequent. Since he has teetered around 30 HR the last four seasons, its hard to see him get there with fewer at-bats.
There is a ton of power on this roster and they should easily hit over 200 home runs as a team but I doubt they will reach the franchise record. I also see only 3 of the 5 players reaching the 30 mark.
Story, McMahon, and Dahl will get there but Arenado won’t finish the season in a Rockies’ uniform and Blackmon will fall short due to reduced playing time.