The Most Extreme Rangers Home Runs of 2015
It’s December. We’re a good full month into the off-season, and already tired of staring out the window and waiting for spring. We’re eager for baseball.
My friend Owen Watson does solid work examining the most extreme home runs over at FanGraphs, along with his many other great contributions. Dingers are fun. Watching the baseball leaving the yard is fun. Reading about them is also fun. Dingers fill your baseball-empty mind.
So, here at SDI, I took a look at some of the most extreme home runs, in many aspects, hit by Ranger batsmen. For most of them, I pulled numbers from ESPN Home Run Tracker, except for the last two, which I pulled from Baseball Savant.
Without further ado, here are your dingers. Enjoy.
Longest Home Run: Joey Gallo, June 13
This one comes with no surprise. The one with the most prodigious power yanked a baseball farther than any other Ranger in 2015. Although Hit Tracker has it traveling 471 feet, the Statcast thinks the moonshot went only 442 feet. But one can choose a better number. If you believe Hit Tracker’s figure, it was the longest home run hit by a Ranger at home since Mitch Moreland in June 2011. And taking account the fact that the jet stream seems to have died since then, you can say Gallo’s was superior.
Since there’s no publicly available full Statcast data on the dinger, I made my own assumption at the time.
Statcast data on the Gallo bomb: Launch angle: 😍 Exit velocity: 😍😍😍 Distance: 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
— Kazuto Yamazaki (@Kazuto_Yamazaki) June 13, 2015
Seems accurate, huh?
Shortest and Lowest-Apex Home Run: Ryan Rua, July 30
I’ve gotta admit that I cheated a little here. If not for the diving glove of Jacoby Ellsbury, this 276-foot line drive that reached only twenty-three feet above the ground would have only been a single. In fact, it was the third-shortest four-bagger by a Ranger in the Hit Tracker era, which dates back to 2006, trailing only the infamous 197-footer by Ian Kinsler in 2013 and Nelson Cruz’s 247-footer in 2006. Unsurprisingly, both of them were also inside-the-park home runs.
Shortest Home Run, Non-Inside-the-Park Division: Shin-Soo Choo, May 23
Four of the Rangers’ five shortest home runs in 2015 belong to the Korean outfielder (the other belongs to Moreland). For this one, at an estimated distance of 335 feet, the notoriously short Yankee Stadium dimensions helped it get out of the park. According to Hit Tracker, it would’ve been gone in only one other big league park.
Hardest-Hit Home Run: Joey Gallo, June 3
Joey Gallo does two things. In 2015, among players with at least 100 plate appearances, only Giancarlo Stanton had a higher hard-hit rate than Gallo, who checked in at an astounding 49.0%. In 2015, among players with at least 100 plate appearances, no one had a lower contact% than Gallo, who recorded a flabbergasting 52.9%. When Joey Gallo swings, he either annihilates the baseball or whiffs viciously. While there are many holes in his swing, right down the middle of the zone isn’t one of them. If you hang a breaking ball to him, he’ll crush it harder than anyone, at an exit velocity of 114.2 miles-per-hour.
Softest-Hit Home Run: Shin-Soo Choo, May 6
As I noted above, Choo hit four of the five shortest jacks by Rangers in 2015. This was another one of them, leaving off the bat at a mere 93.1 miles-per-hour. To quote Steve Busby on the broadcast, it indeed was a “Minute Maid Park special”, as Hit Tracker says this one would not have been a home run in any other park. This happened right around when Choo was turning things around, starting a long trek of a dreadful .096 average to the end-of-the-season mark of .276. The just-enougher is some kind of proof of him bringing back some good luck charm with the stick.
Highest-Apex Home Run: Shin-Soo Choo, August 28
Oh hi there, this guy again. But this time, it was on the positive end of the spectrum. Nearly four months after hitting the rock bottom, Choo was tearing the cover off the ball at the time. This towering dinger was a legitimate #Choomstick, reaching 151 feet above the ground at the highest point of its path to the right field bleachers.
Lowest-Apex Home Run, Non-Inside-the-Park Division: Carlos Peguero
Carlos Peguero! Remember Carlos Peguero? He was on fire at this point. The day after he obliterated a baseball for this screamer that reached as high as only 48 feet above the ground on its way out of the park, the Dominican ball masher added a couple more homers. Two weeks later, he was designated for assignment, and played just four more games at the major league level the rest of the season. Baseball is cruel and weird.
Fastest Pitch: Prince Fielder, June 17
Josh Ravin throws hard. According to Brooks Baseball, he averaged 97.74 miles-per-hour on his fourseam fastball. But when you don’t locate a 3-0 pitch, big league hitters do bad things to you, even if you hit 98.6 miles-per-hour on the offering. Additionally, Ravin had given up another long ball to Robinson Chirinos the day before, which was the Rangers’ lone walk-offer and second-fasted pitch they yanked out of the park in 2015. Oh, and you know what? This Fielder oppo-taco was the sixty-ninth home run by the Rangers in 2015. Nice.
Slowest Pitch: Josh Hamilton, May 29
As Owen mentioned in his FanGraphs piece, Steven Wright excelled at giving up extreme home runs. In 2015, Wright’s knuckler averaged at 74.3 miles-per-hour. He threw the offering 89.7% of the time. So when he givens up a home run, there’s a good chance it’s on a slow pitch. This one Hamilton crushed, which came at 66.2 miles-per-hour, was no exception.