just a ramble...
Steroids don't train the eyes and that, frankly, is what Bonds has over everyone else. He walked 232 times last year and has other base-on-balls totals of 151, 177, and 198. He will walk rather than swing at a pitch not to his liking. That's discipline and there are a lot of hitters whose batting averages would climb 15-20 points if they had half Bonds'. Many if not most just don't have the luxury of waiting that split-second longer to commit (to swinging at the pitch). Steroids don't have a heckuva lot to do with hand-eye coordination. Bonds "squares up" on most pitches he does elect to take a hack at.
Even as a 170-pound kid just up out of Arizona State, he had the bat-speed that made it clear he would put up power numbers. (And he was the fifth or sixth pick that year.)
Simply, you start adding muscle to a guy who already has the mechanics to turn that into torque and a bat head that's in the hitting zone like nobody's business and you will see results that reflect that.
Keep in mind, muscle mass by itself, strength by itself, means nothing. Put a bat in the hands of all the middle linebackers and shot-putters and strongest men competitors you can find and unless the guy's done some serious bat-swinging before, he's not going to be driving balls out of the park, if he's even making contact, and I'm talking about batting practice, 65-mph slop, not major league pitching. In fact you may see some of the slowest swings you'll ever see.
Bonds has natural gifts that every other major league player wishes they had. He got great genetics from his parents and - this is key and cannot be overrated - grew up in big league clubhouses and around big league players. This lends familiarity, which breeds confidence, which lends itself to success. Barry Bonds could not have scripted a scenario more conducive to getting him to where he is now.
If there was ever a player who did not have to cheat, it's Bonds.
But he's cheated, as have almost 40 minor leaguers who see steroids as their stepping stones to The Show, where there's a third deck and a lot of money to be made. Think about managing to get to and stay in the bigs for five years, making the minimum ($300G) then a little more after that until you get bounced by the next hungry kid. But by then you're vested.
Plenty of kids who'll play with their chemistry, risk their health, sell the farm just for a shot at a roster spot and first-class travel, first-class hotels, plenty of attention from too much female attention to keep track of, and a shot of setting himself and his family up for life.
Plenty of kids who view that as a better option than hanging 'em up early and seeing about that UPS delivery job.http://www.cbs.sportsline.com/mlb/story/8027387