Breaking Down the Longest Dingers of 2017 (So Far)
You want dingers? I got dingers.
In baseball, the scorer doesn’t give a damn how far you hit that sucker. As long as it clears the fence on the fly, you receive credit for a home run, an RBI, and RBIs for however many players were on base. Real baseball isn’t that video game The Bigs where the further you hit a home run, the more score multipliers you’d rack-up — a home run only counts for as many runners that were on base, plus one, in the eyes of the scorer.
I’m not a scorer though. I, like many other baseball fans, love massive dingers.
We’re one month into the baseball season, and maybe there’s something in the water, but we’re already seeing plenty of home runs — and plenty of huge home runs. Let’s break down what went into the top 5 longest home runs of the season (so far) using Statcast data.
Be honest — when you saw this, you immediately thought this one had gone 600 feet. I did. Sadly, according to Statcast, this baby only went 468 feet — but saying “it only went 468” is like saying “Mike Trout has been worth only 49.9 fWAR in his career.”
This home run represents an active attempt to tear a hole in the Rays’ 2011 AL WC banner. Maybe Ozuna bet on the Red Sox that season? Whatever the reason, Ozuna demolished this ball — 112.2 MPH off the bat, his second hardest hit of the season. Makes sense — Snell completely missed with his change up, throwing it up and down the middle. Ozuna got all of it, and you can see the result.
Hitting a ball over the Green Monster isn’t a big deal. Kris Bryant did it a game earlier, for instance.
But Ramirez’s home run doesn’t just clear the Monster — it appears to clear the National Car Rental sign with a mile to spare (albeit, it’s difficult to see — the ball disappears into the blue the moment NESN’s feed switches angles).
Most Green Monster shots end up on Landsdowne street, the street immediately bordering the north end of the stadium. According to google maps, however, this ball might have cleared Landsdowne, and instead landed on top of a parking garage. Thoughts and prayers for the poor Cubs bandwagon fan who left the game to find a souvenir and a smashed windshield.
Is Ryan Zimmerman old and washed up? Someone must have forgotten to tell him. Zimmerman would be in line for the NL triple crown if the season ended today, never mind the .428 BA. But this article isn’t about Ryan Zimmerman reviving his career — it’s about him hitting a massive dinger.
Zimmerman must also really not like Addison Reed. Zimmerman has had 2 AB against Reed this season, and both have been home runs. This one was the second, and he got all of this. Notice Reed walking off the mound? He knows what just happened. The catcher knows. The ump knows. Everyone in the stadium knows.
Curiously enough, the home run ball was thrown back onto the field. Why? Zimmerman had the misfortune of sending a souvenir into a crowd of Mets fans, who were visiting from NYC for the game. Props to the fan who caught it for having the strength to throw it back on the field — maybe the Mets should give him a tryout to bolster their floundering rotation? Couldn’t hurt.
Lost in the midst of all the Red Sox/Orioles drama that’s been going on this week is the fact that Machado has been off to a slow start this season — the .214/.322/.449 slash line can tell you that much. But take solace, Orioles fans — Manny can still hit massive dingers.
Yes, it’s Yankee Stadium, where routine pop ups turn into home runs — how else do you think Aaron Judge is leading the majors in HRs (10 at home in 49 AB, 3 on the road in 39 AB)? But this is no cheap home run. This ball is crushed to the deepest part of the ballpark.
Most HRs to center field in Yankee Stadium find a home in monument park, but Machado slugs it so high and deep, it bounces off of the promenade 30 feet up. CC Sabathia makes a mistake with the fastball, and Machado makes him pay with interest.
There’s one home run that stands alone atop the max-distance leader board, and it’s this one. By far. Maybe it had something to due with the dry desert air, or maybe the Rockies pitchers were taking a little bit of Coors with them. Whatever the reason, Jake Lamb, who I believed to be human up until this point, clobbered a baseball 481 feet.
If I’m being honest, part of the blame has to lie with Anderson here. He throws a cutter so perfectly placed for a long ball, he might have been trying.
But it was Jake Lamb who hit that ball an inhuman distance. Lamb isn’t really known for tape measure shots — last season, the furthest home run he hit went 453'. His second furthest home run this season went only 419'. But through some kind of devilish magic, Jake Lamb currently owns the longest home run in baseball this season.
Note: Curiously enough, with the exception of Ozuna’s long-fly, all of these home runs took place in the span of two days. Fourth through first were all hit on either April 28th or April 29th. Maybe there was something in the water that weekend…