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Baseball continues its record home run pace

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There were 1,060 home runs hit in the month of May. That makes for the second-highest total for a single month in the history of Major League Baseball. The record was 1,069 in May of 2000.

But baseball wasn’t just homer happy in May. As our Matthew Pouliot noted this afternoon, we continue to be on a record pace for homers overall. Indeed, we’re on pace to shatter the existing home run record:

The why of it all is still up in the air. Some combination of upper-cut swinging and the decision by hitters to eschew compact, strikeout-avoiding swings when behind in the count likely explains a lot. As it is, we don’t have any guys hitting 60 or 70 like we did 15 years ago. We have a TON of guys who hit 20, though. It’s a league-wide thing, not just the work of some freakish sluggers.

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.

Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.

Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.