Josh Bell went down in the first round of the 2019 Home Run Derby, but the Pirates' breakout star is slugging enough during games that count to raise his national profile and threaten records that have stood for more than half a century.
He is on pace to belt 49 home runs in 2019, which would rank as the third-highest single-season total in Pirates history behind Ralph Kiner in 1949 (54 HR) and 1947 (51). His projected total beats out seasons turned in by Willie Stargell (48 in 1971), Kiner (47 in 1950), Stargell (44 in 1973) and Kiner yet again in 1951 (42) and 1948 (40). Among switch hitters, his projected 49 homers would rank behind only two seasons by Mickey Mantle (54 in 1961 and 52 in 1956).
Even in this homer-happy environment, it's not hyperbole to say that Bell is showing Cooperstown-quality power.
In honor of his historic 2019 season, let's break down Bell's 27 bombs.