Farhan Zaidi, Mitch Haniger foresee Giants among top homer-hitting MLB teams
Zaidi, Haniger anticipate Giants among best homer-hitting teams originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
There's plenty of power potential in the Giants' lineup, and the team expects to capitalize on it this coming season.
In recent interviews with KNBR, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and newly acquired outfielder Mitch Haniger said the Giants could be among the league's best home run-hitting teams in 2023.
"One of the strengths of our '23 team, we think, is going to be power," Zaidi told "Murph & Mac" on Tuesday. "We've got three guys who've had 30-plus home run seasons who we think can do that again. We have, like, four or five guys who have hit 20, and a couple more who have hit 18 or 19.
"So, we think we're going to be right at the top of the league in terms of home runs and power, and that's going to be a big driving force of our team."
The Giants notoriously missed out on superstar Aaron Judge in free agency this offseason, after the New York Yankees slugger mashed 62 home runs en route to the American League's single-season home run record. And Carlos Correa, who hit 48 homers across his last two seasons, coming to San Francisco turned out to be a fever dream.
But Zaidi believes offseason additions such as Haniger and Michael Conforto -- along with returnees Joc Pederson, Wilmer Flores, J.D. Davis and Mike Yastrzemski, to name a few -- will put the Giants in a powerful position.
Conforto, who missed the 2022 season because of shoulder surgery, averaged 29 homers per season from 2017 to 2019 with the New York Mets. And Haniger is only one season removed from a 39-homer campaign.
The former Seattle Mariners outfielder agreed with Zaidi's comments about the Giants' powerful lineup, but he noted it isn't something he focuses on when he's up to bat.
"I agree with Zaidi, but I would say, for me, I have power, I love that attribute. ... I just want to hit line drives, and I feel like the home runs kind of happen on accident," Haniger told KNBR's "Murph & Mac" on Wednesday. "I'm always looking to drive the ball up the middle of the field, and I know I can hit for a high average and still have power numbers built in there. ...
"I think we can lead the league in power, but I think that's kind of a result, and I think to get that result, you focus on what you can do to get you there, which is swinging at a good pitch, hitting the ball hard and staying in the middle of the field. So, if we do those things consistently, I think we'll be on the top of the charts as far as power numbers go."
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During their franchise-record 107-win season in 2021, the Giants ranked No. 2 in MLB home runs with 241, just 21 behind the Toronto Blue Jays. They still were in the top half of the league last season at No. 12 with 183 homers, but San Francisco certainly will look to return to those '21 numbers in '23 after falling short of expectations in '22.
Thanks to additions the Giants have made this offseason coupled with the talent they already had on the team, that goal looks like it could be attainable.
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