Breaking Down Jose Bautista’s 30 Bombs


Either Jose Bautista is putting on hell of an audition for his new team, or he’s making a very convincing argument for the Toronto Blue Jays to hang onto him.

Bautista blasted his 29th and 30th home runs last night against the Baltimore Orioles and became the first player this season to even come remotely close to breaking the 30 home run plateau. At a clip of a home run per 13.96 plate appearances, Jose Bautista is on pace to hit 49 home runs this season.

Just as a comparison, the first Blue Jay on the roster to clear 30 home runs was Aaron Hill, and it took him 536 plate appearances to reach that mark. Jose Bautista managed to do it in 355 plate appearances – almost 200 less plate appearances than Hill.

Now while it may be a bit of a stretch to say he’ll hit close to 50 bombs this year, even at the All-Star Break many had Bautista pegged to barely even clear 30 home runs before season’s end.

It barely took Jose Bautista four months to join the 30 Home Run Club, but here’s a breakdown of how and where he hit all his bombs:

Bomb #DatePitcherCountDistance (feet)
111-Apr-10Kevin Millwood(1-2)372
219-Apr-10Brian Bannister(0-0)383
319-Apr-10Luis Mendoza(0-0)413
426-Apr-10Josh Beckett(0-0)401
53-May-10Mitch Talbot(0-1)411
64-May-10Jake Westbrook(1-0)409
710-May-10John Lackey(1-1)450
815-May-10Scott Feldman(0-1)367
915-May-10Darren O’Day(2-1)404
1016-May-10Colby Lewis(1-1)392
1117-May-10Kevin Slowey(3-2)376
1220-May-10Jason Vargas(2-1)377
1321-May-10Dan Haren(1-1)404
1423-May-10Billy Buckner(1-1)391
1525-May-10Ervin Santana(0-0)404
1630-May-10Will Ohman(0-0)408
174-Jun-10A.J. Burnett(3-2)441
184-Jun-10A.J. Burnett(2-0)440
1922-Jun-10Jaime Garcia(3-0)450
2022-Jun-10Kyle McClellan(1-1)353
213-Jul-10Andy Pettitte(2-0)424
227-Jul-10Kevin Slowey(1-2)348
238-Jul-10Ron Mahay(2-1)404
2410-Jul-10Ramon Ramirez(1-0)406
2517-Jul-10Jason Berken(1-0)434
2620-Jul-10Anthony Lerew(2-2)435
2725-Jul-10Jeremy Bonderman(0-0)366
2826-Jul-10Brad Bergesen(0-1)428
2927-Jul-10Kevin Millwood(1-0)436
3027-Jul-10Alfredo Simon(2-2)397

Here are some other interesting tidbits about Jose Bautista’s 30 home runs.

Home runs by month: April (4), May (12), June (4), July (10)
Home runs at home: 18
Home runs on the road: 12
Average distance: 404 feet

Home runs with men on base: 20
Home runs without men on base: 10

Home runs before the 7th inning: 20
Home runs 7th inning or later: 10

Home runs against left-handed pitchers: 4
Home runs against right-handed pitchers: 26

Home runs when ahead or even in the count: 25
Home runs when behind in the count: 5
First pitch home runs: 6

With the current incarnate of the Blue Jays with their “grip it and rip it” hitting philosophy, one might assume that a great deal of Jose Bautista’s home runs could be attributed to being aggressive right out of the gate. Surprisingly, only six in total or 20 percent of his home runs were swinging at the first pitch.

For the most part, Bautista does a phenomenal job of being patient and sitting back and waiting for an opposing pitcher to leave something on the inside part of the plate for him to crush.

Not a lot of folks talk about it, but his ability to draw the walk is another deadly part of Bautista’s game. He currently ranks third in the American League for walks with 57.

Jose Bautista’s ability to not only force a base on balls combined with his slugging power make him a huge threat to any opposing pitcher. His .915 OPS ranks 8th in the league and he’s in good company with perennial heavy hitters like Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera, and Justin Morneau.

While he may not be one of those household names I just mentioned, Jose Bautista is very quickly making a name for himself across the league and staking a reputation as a big slugger.

Not too shabby for a player who was once cast aside by three organizations in a single season. Along with the Orioles, Rays, Royals and Pirates, I bet they all wish they renewed their Bautista Appreciation Society memberships before he hit the jackpot.

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Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the ALDS to his son for the next 20 years.

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  1. Matt_CC

    July 28, 2010 - 1:16 pm

    You have a bit of a glitch in your breakdown:

    Home runs before the 7th inning: 30
    Home runs 7th inning or later: 10

  2. Ian H.

    July 28, 2010 - 1:35 pm

    Thanks for the catch Matt. My math at 1:30 in the morning while writing these posts is admittedly deplorable.

  3. Mattt

    July 28, 2010 - 4:36 pm

    Remember way back at the beginning of the season when people were saying that he might hit 30? I was very cautiously optimistic at the time but thought that would
    be his max. Now 49 sounds attainable. Rediculous, but attainable. Wow…

  4. Ian H.

    July 28, 2010 - 10:37 pm

    Mattt, I can't remember the exact quote – but I recall Cito saying in Spring Training something to the effect that the Blue Jays could have 5 or so guys in the lineup who could hit 20 or 25 home runs. Well, scratch one on them (Bautista) off the list already!

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