The 5 hardest-hit balls of the Yankees’ 2020 season
Among the best features of the age of analytics is we’ve got prompt entry to metrics like exit velocity and launch angle. Whereas as soon as we might solely guess on the distance of some tape-measure blasts, now we’ve got to the minute information of precisely how exhausting and the way far each baseball is hit. And so with out additional ado, I current the 5 hardest hit balls by Yankees this season.
5. Giancarlo Stanton: 116.1 MPH
Stanton blistered this line drive single to left off of Orioles reliever Travis Lakins Sr. on September thirtieth. The inning ended a batter later as Aaron Hicks would floor right into a double play. The Yankees took an early lead on this recreation earlier than Jonathan Loáisiga surrendered a go-ahead dwelling run within the eighth. New York would claw their approach again to a victory nonetheless, with Aaron Judge delivering the game-winning three-run dinger within the ninth.
4. Giancarlo Stanton: 117.0 MPH
Solely innings previous to the earlier shot, Stanton sizzled this groundball single off of Orioles starter John Means. Judge got here round to attain from second, plating the primary of eight runs on the sport for the Yankees. That is the prototypical instance of how exit velocity can overcome a non-optimal launch angle. The grounder was hit so exhausting, no fielder within the league might have gloved it. It’s additionally unimaginable that Stanton might publish two of the very best exit velocities all yr in the identical recreation.
3. Giancarlo Stanton: 117.3 MPH
It’s sort of wild to suppose the third-hardest hit ball by a Yankee went for a routine out, however that’s precisely what occurred right here. Stanton pounded a 3-2 T.J. Zeuch sinker into the filth. Second baseman Jonathan Villar fielded it cleanly, however did a bit of double take on the ball, maybe out of shock of how exhausting it was hit. This was within the midst of the Yankees’ 2-6 stumble towards the end line, and it should have felt like Murphy’s Legislation to hit a ball this tough with this consequence. It’s fairly humorous to suppose a ball hit 117.3 MPH solely traveled 14 toes within the air, however that’s what a -13 diploma launch angle will do for you.
2. Gary Sánchez: 117.5 MPH
He might have had a season to overlook, however Gary Sánchez will often remind us why he nonetheless has it in him to be probably the most feared slugger within the Yankees’ potent lineup. This fourth inning laser got here towards Blue Jays reliever Chase Anderson on September seventeenth. The one-hop double off the wall in left-center plated Clint Frazier to interrupt the impasse, and kickstarted probably the most absurd five-batter stretches I’ve ever seen. That’s proper, this hit instantly preceded 5 dwelling runs by Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres. What’s actually spectacular is that Sanchez’s double was the toughest hit of the the six hit barrage.
1. Giancarlo Stanton: 121.3 MPH
Not solely was this the toughest hit ball by a Yankee, it was the toughest hit baseball in all of MLB this season, in addition to the second-hardest hit ball within the Statcast period. And it got here in solely the second recreation of the season for the Bombers. Stanton obliterated this absolute thunderbolt off Nationals starter Erick Fedde within the fourth inning to chop the Yankees’ deficit to 1 run. The ball traveled 483 toes and appeared to nonetheless be rising because it crashed into the seat cowl in left-center. I don’t find out about you, however I might watch this on repeat eternally.
So what’s the lesson from all of this. Initially, the Yankees hit the ball exhausting. Actually exhausting. Actually, they’ve made it a modus operandi of types to stockpile the toughest hitters of the ball in all of the league. Stanton has recorded the toughest hit ball in baseball every year that Statcast has tracked exit velocity. However he’s not the one one hitting the quilt off the baseball for the Yankees. Choose, Sánchez, and Voit routinely refill the exit velocity leaderboard, such that at occasions the highest entries are a sea of pinstripes.
The opposite lesson to remove is that exit velocity tells an incomplete story. Solely one of many entries on this checklist resulted in a house run, whereas one other was a groundball out. That stated, I believe it’s apparent that the more durable you hit the ball, the higher likelihood it has of falling for a success. That is conveniently mirrored by Statcast’s anticipated statistics: the anticipated batting common positively correlates with exit velocity. So regardless of how loud the cries for slap-hitting, contact sorts, one of the best route ahead will at all times be to hit the ball exhausting, one thing the Yankees do with aplomb.