The San Diego Padres have one of the most powerful outfield duos in the entire league.
Franmil Reyes and Hunter Renfroe have been trading (friendly) blows all season when it comes to home runs. The Padres have benefited from their home run barrage as they find themselves in a position that they have been in since 2010, above .500 after 63 games. Reyes has 19 home runs with a .864 OPS while Renfroe boasts 18 home runs with a team-high .923 OPS.
Combined for 37 home runs in early June, Reyes, and Renfroe may be on a collision course with Padres history. Could they become the greatest outfield power duo in Friars franchise history? Let’s take a look at the best outfield power duos of the past.
Greg Vaughn did a lot of damage all by his lonesome with a franchise single-season record 50 bombs in the 1998 National League pennant-winning season. He alone still has more homers than the Reyes/Renfroe duo to this point. Tony Gwynn came in at a distant second with 16, bringing the combined total to 66. This is still the highest number by a Padres’ outfield pair, but it also helps to have the single-most powerful season a Padre has ever had in Vaughn. What Reyes and Renfroe as doing is more balanced and perhaps even more challenging to do.
After a big fire sale, the Padres were left with Phil Plantier from Boston and Derek Bell from Toronto. Neither hitter had much of a resume until they became teammates in San Diego. Plantier then went off in what was the greatest season of his eight-year career, swatting 34 homers and driving in 100 runs. Bell too had one of his best seasons ever, hitting 21 home runs bringing the total to 55 between the two, good enough for second-best in Padres lore.
Cito Gaston came to the Padres via the expansion draft before their inaugural 1969 season. One year later, he smacked 29 home runs and hit .318, which would turn out to be the only All-Star season of his career. Behind him was Ollie Brown, who set a career-high that year with 23 dingers, which would be the most he hit in his 13-year career. The two combined for 52 home runs, the third-most in franchise history.
The most recent powerful outfield duo was Justin Upton and Matt Kemp in 2015. Both All-Stars came over to San Diego in A.J. Preller’s initial shopping spree, and they finished one-two in home runs for San Diego. Upton earned an All-Star nod as he hit 26 home runs, leading the team. Kemp finished just behind him, hitting 23 home runs with an even 100 RBI, with the pair accumulating 49 home runs total.
The Padres had a big fire sale after making the World Series in 1998 and were left with some unknowns heading into that next season. The Friars quickly found out that Reggie Sanders was an excellent acquisition as in his lone year with the squad, he paced the team with 26 home runs while also batting .285, one of the few bright spots in a 74-88 season. Just behind Sanders was Ruben Rivera at 23 home runs. That would be his best offensive season in parts of four seasons with San Diego as they tied the 2015 duo with 49 home runs combined.
Reyes and Renfroe have not reached these levels yet, but it’s only June, and they are gaining fast. Reyes is on pace for almost 49 home runs while Renfroe’s pace is 46, which, if they were to attain those, would shatter the previous record of 66. Even if this current pair drops off a bit, which is certainly possible, they are on pace to break this record. They would only need 34 and 33 home runs to do it, which seems very close having not even reached the halfway point of the season.
This pair of sluggers has helped make the Padres relevant, watchable and *gasp* fun this season and they are starting to gain national attention.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) May 31, 2019
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) June 3, 2019