Blue Jays break rookie home run record with Billy McKinney’s big day

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Billy McKinney #28 of the Toronto Blue Jays watches the flight of his seventh inning two-run home run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 22, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Billy McKinney #28 of the Toronto Blue Jays watches the flight of his seventh inning two-run home run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 22, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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The Blue Jays broke a record for the most rookies with 10 or more home runs in a season, further highlighting the potential of this young group.

Billy McKinney went deep twice against the New York Yankees, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overcome an 8-3 score against the AL East division leaders.

The home runs weren’t all for naught though, as McKinney’s two home runs now bring him to a season total of 11, making him the sixth Blue Jay rookie to reach double digits in that category. That’s a new MLB record for most rookies on one team to hit reach 10 or more home runs in a single season.

McKinney joins several talented young teammates who have already reached the mark such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Rowdy Tellez, and Danny Jansen. Chances are if Reese McGuire had played in more than 27 games, he probably could have been the 7th this year as well. It’s also not including Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who lost his rookie eligibility last season, but is still a pretty new big leaguer.

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The Blue Jays actually have had 13 players on their roster hit at least 10 home runs now when you include the veterans. Randal Grichuk leads the way with 30, followed by Teoscar Hernandez (23), Justin Smoak (22), Gurriel Jr. (20), Freddy Galvis (18), Brandon Drury (14), and Eric Sogard (10).

Home runs are up across baseball this season with the “juiced” baseball, but it’s still surprising to see this power surge from the Blue Jays this year. They’ve been a team that’s lived or died by the long ball in the past, and as they continue to build this roster Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro will hope for a more rounded approach at the plate from their hitters as they gain more experience.

That said, the home run is always going to have value, and perhaps never more so than in today’s MLB.

Why not Smoak, and if not, then who?. dark. Next

The Blue Jays may not have Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, or others from the last generation of sluggers, but that sure hasn’t stopped them from hitting the ball out of the ballpark.

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