Power is not really the Cleveland Guardians‘ calling card, at least not in 2022.
They are, as of Friday afternoon, 28th out of 30 teams in home runs, with 62.
Only the Oakland Athletics and the Detroit Tigers, two of the worst teams in the league, have hit fewer home runs than Cleveland.
However, and while hitting home runs is definitely correlated with overall offensive excellence, the Guardians are currently just 4.5 games out of first place.
They are right there, despite owning a somewhat mediocre 40-40 record.
One of the reasons why they are still a respectable club with a postseason berth within reach is because those home runs are often timely.
Two of them were of the walk-off variety last week, and some of them have come with the bases loaded.
In fact, the Guards are among the league leaders in grand slams in the 2022 campaign.
Most grand slams this season:
— bet365 US (@bet365_us) July 8, 2022
Guardians’ Home Runs Are Often Timely
They are tied for second for most grand slams in the league this year, with the Boston Red Sox, the Minnesota Twins, and the Los Angeles Angels.
The New York Yankees are first with five blasts with the bases loaded.
Much of that can be attributed to luck: the Guardians have been fortunate enough to have four such homers without being truly a team full of sluggers.
But they do have some hitters capable of inflicting a lot of damage with men on base and in scoring position.
Josh Naylor has been a pleasant surprise this year with his emotion, heart, and opportunistic home runs.
Andres Gimenez has broken out and is now a well-above average second baseman.
Of course, Jose Ramirez remains one of the best hitters (and players) in the game.
The Guardians are developing and maturing, and more hitters could break out or appear on the scene in the second half.