Eugenio Suarez crushed his 40th home run of the season in the first game today of the Cincinnati Reds double header against the St. Louis Cardinals. The home run set a new franchise record for home runs in a season by a third baseman. It broke a tie that he held with Tony Perez, who hit 39 home runs as a third baseman in 1970. Perez also had another home run that season, giving him 40 total, but it did not come as a third baseman.
The home run marks a few different milestones for Eugenio Suarez. It’s his first 40-homer season of his career. It placed him on a list of just five other players born in Venezuela to have a 40-homer season. Andres Galarraga, Miguel Cabrera, Richard Hidalgo, Tony Armas, and Carlos Gonzalez also accomplished the feat as Venezuelans. In the last 20 years he’s now one of only four third basemen to hit 40 in a season. Nolan Arenado has done it twice (41 in 2016 and 42 in 2015), Phil Nevin hit 41 in 2001, and Adrian Beltre hit 48 in 2004. All of those guys are still in reach. Hat tip to Joel Luckhaupt for that last note.
As far as where the 40 home runs rank among the Reds all time, it ties Eugenio Suarez for 7th all-time. He’s currently tied with Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, George Foster (1978), Ken Griffey Jr, Wally Post, Ted Kluszewski (1953), and Adam Dunn (2005-2007). His next homer will put him in 7th all on his own, but he needs 45 to catch anyone else. 50 home runs isn’t entirely out of reach, and if he were to get there, he would only be the second player in franchise history to do so – matching George Foster in his 1977 Most Valuable Player season when he hit 52.