At some point, we will get closer to the start of next season than we are to the end of the last one, but we’re not quite there yet (Opening Night is still 90 days away!). And until then, we have ample time to look back fondly on 2016.
Given that Michael has already highlighted Yasiel Puig’s cannon of an arm in a look at the most extreme throws from 2016, I thought there is no better time than now to check out the most extreme home runs hit last year.
Let the record show that there were plenty to choose from, as there were 5,610 home runs hit in 2016 – 701 more dingers than 2015 – good for the second most of all-time.
Over at MLB.com, Mike Petriello breaks down the best of the extreme blasts of the season in the following categories:
- Longest: Giancarlo Stanton (504 feet)
- Shortest: J.J. Hardy (314 feet)
- Highest pitch velocity: Kurt Suzuki (102.4 mph off Aroldis Chapman)
- Lowest pitch velocity: Kennys Vargas (59.7 mph off Jared Hoying)
- Highest launch angle: Mark Teixeira (47.8 degrees)
- Lowest launch angle: Carlos Gonzalez (14.2 degrees)
- Highest exit velocity: Carlos Gonzalez (117.4 mph)
- Lowest exit velocity: Troy Tulowitzki (87.1 mph)
CarGo has an argument for homer of the year, seeing that his 117.4 mph/14.2 degree homer did not need the Coors Field factor and came off former Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke, but Byron Buxton might own the most extreme homer of the Statcast Era.
Take a look for yourself:
This home run has extreme written all over it from the moment it is released from the pitcher’s hand. Here’s why:
- Not only is it on the game’s first pitch, it’s a 93-mph fastball from Chris Sale – one of the game’s best pitchers
- Buxton completed his home run trip in 14.05 seconds, the fastest in the Statcast era
- At 21 mph, Buxton’s max speed would have earned him a speeding ticket while traveling in a school zone
- And did you notice that Buxton is on second base when that ball one-hops the warning track? Whoa!
On the other end of the spectrum, let’s admire Derek Dietrich’s 55-second stroll around the bases represented the slowest home run trot in 2016.
To be fair, when you only hit seven homers a year, you’ll want to make it last.