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Monday, May 21, 2018

C.J. Wilson thinks Josh Hamilton might break Barry Bonds’ home run record

Josh Hamilton has hit nine home runs this week, including one on Saturday off ex-teammate and current Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson. Wilson went five and two-thirds allowing just two runs against his former team, which also boasts the best offense in baseball. He tweeted after the game that he thinks Josh Hamilton might break Barry Bonds’ single-season home run record.

Wilson is in a good position to make such an assessment for two reasons. One, he spent the last few seasons with the Rangers, so he knows how good the lineup is. Two, he was Hamilton’s teammate the last four years and knows what he’s capable of.

The truth is Wilson is right.

Hamilton has 18 home runs through 34 games and is on pace for 85 home runs. Bonds had 14 through his first 34 in 2001, the year he hit a record 73 home runs.

I know everyone is caught up in Hamilton’s incredible power surge — and believe me, I’m in awe of the show — but I don’t think he’ll get the record. Hamilton’s career high is 32 home runs. He’s going to cool off at some point and won’t hit dingers at the same rate. Additionally, I worry about his ability to stay healthy for an entire season.

Wilson makes a good point that their lineup is so good it makes it difficult to pitch around Hamilton, so he should have a chance to swing the bat throughout the year. If he surpasses 50, I’ll be impressed. I’d say 47 or 48 homers is realistic, and would still result in an MVP award.

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