Atlanta Braves homer records are falling fast

Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley (27) gestures to the Braves' dugout while rounding the bases. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Braves third baseman Austin Riley (27) gestures to the Braves' dugout while rounding the bases. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Position by position, the Atlanta Braves 2021 power onslaught is breaking records at a remarkable rate.

The MLB is a homer-happy league again, and the Atlanta Braves are taking full advantage — to the point that all of their deadline-deal additions are intended to add to the fence-clearing carnage happening this Summer.

Dansby Swanson has already set a record:  most single-season homers by a shortstop in the history of the franchise.  The number is 24 and still counting with 44 games (27% of the schedule) still remaining.

He has bested Milwaukee Braves shortstop Denis Menke, whose own career-high of 20 happened way back in 1964 (in a career lasting from 1962 to 1974 with 3 clubs).

Next on that list was a 3-way tie at 17 homers between Andrelton Simmons (2013), Jeff Blauser (1997), and the 2019 edition of Swanson.  In other words, Swanson is set to bury the prior mark.

In terms of career numbers, Blauser holds the franchise mark at 109 with Johnny Logan (1951-1963) the runner-up at 92.  However, Swanson is currently 4th with 73 and marching up the scale rapidly.  There’s a fair chance that he breaks the mark in late 2022 at this rate.

You might be surprised at this Atlanta Braves keystone record holder

Another record has been set this Summer — the career mark for homers by an Atlanta Braves second baseman:  Ozzie Albies now has 82 dingers overall… would you believe that Dan Uggla only carded 79 in his time with the team?

Both of them are easily above Marcus Giles (72) and Bobby Lowe (70), with Glenn Hubbard rounding out the top 5.

You might be wondering about some other second basemen of note… okay, here they are:

  • Kelly Johnson (55, 7th overall))
  • Davey Johnson (58… most of those in 1973 alone; good for 6th)
  • Martin Prado (52; he’s 8th)
  • Mark Lemke (32, 10th overall)

The single-season mark is safe:  that was Davey Johnson‘s outburst of 43 in 1973… part of the 40-plus-homer trio that included Hank Aaron and Darrell Evans.

Albies is 3rd on that list… and 4th… and 5th.  One more homer — and each one beyond that — will be a new career-high for him.

The Braves Team Records

In 2019, the Braves clubbed a franchise record 249 homers.  That number might be safe, but it almost certainly will be challenged this year.

RIght now the 2021 Braves are sitting at 172 for the year (after Sunday’s action).  That’s already the 25th best mark in franchise history.

That projects to 236 for the season (which would be 2nd all-time); however, there are reasons to believe that the 249 figure is in jeopardy — despite not having Ronald Acuna Jr. available:

  • The aforementioned outfield additions (Duvall/Pederson/Soler/Rosario) all have 25+ homer power capabilites.
  • The return of Travis d’Arnaud will certainly add a few homers to the tally (note:  William Contreras still leads the team in catching homers with 7; d’Arnaud has 3; all others?  Zero.)
  • The team was hitting .238 in the first half of the season with a .425 slugging rate.
    • 2nd half?  .254 and .444
    • Homers are happening at a 17.8% higher rate in this 2nd half… and Eddie Rosario hasn’t even arrived yet.

Other Possible Marks

Austin Riley and Freddie Freeman both hit their 25th homers on Sunday… finally wresting the team lead away from the injured Acuna Jr.

Swanson is now at 24; Albies 22… the entire infield is likely to reach 25, and they are all within sight of 30 as well… which has never been done before.

It might be of some concern that Atlanta is often living and dying with the home run (witness the 4-homer game this weekend in a 4-2 victory over Washington), but this is more about a lineup where an opposing pitcher has no place to hide.

Literally every position in the lineup presents a home run threat outside of the pitcher’s slot (depending on whether Max Fried or Huascar Ynoa is on the mound).

dark. Next. How Sweep it is!

It also means that fans may want to keep watching every AB in every game… for you’ll never know when those big bat will be feeding next… and what records they might be breaking.