Stats & Info: Hit Tracker

Cruz fills big power need for Mariners

December, 1, 2014
No American League team needed Nelson Cruz more than the Seattle Mariners. Last season, the Mariners designated hitters combined to hit .189 with an OPS of .568. Both of those numbers ranked last in the American League.

The M’s also struggled to find power from the right-hand side. The Mariners .604 OPS from righties was the lowest single-season mark for a team since the 1988 Pirates righties had an OPS of .603.

Nelson Cruz
Cruz parlayed a terrific 2014 season into a reported four-year deal to help fill those voids in Seattle. The $57 million dollar deal would be the third-largest in total value ever given out by the Mariners trailing only a five-year deal worth $64 million to Adrian Beltre and a 10-year, $240 million dollar deal for Robinson Cano.

Value added
This past season, Cruz was the only player in baseball to hit 40 home runs while driving in 100 runs.

From a wins above replacement standpoint, Cruz was worth nearly five wins last season (4.7), after putting up a WAR total of 4.3 from 2011 to 2013.

Although the 4.7 WAR marked a career high, Cruz did have a similar season in 2010 with the Texas Rangers when he had a WAR of 4.1, despite playing in just 108 games.

From Camden to Safeco
While the assumption was Cruz would benefit from playing at Camden Yards last year, he was actually much better on the road than at home. Cruz hit .289 with 25 home runs on the road, while batting .252 with 15 home runs at his hitter-friendly home park.

Despite a .234 career batting average at Safeco Field, all of Cruz’s 15 home runs at Camden Yards this past year would also have been home runs at Safeco.

Good omen for Seattle?
Cruz is not the first slugger to spend just one season in Baltimore before moving on. It was 38 years ago that Reggie Jackson made a splash in New York after spending one season with the Orioles. The Yankees went on to win consecutive World Series titles in his first two seasons.

Gil Bransford, Justin Havens, Paul Kinney and Kenton Wong contributed to this post

The year in home runs: Every HR in 2013

November, 1, 2013
Almost two million feet worth of home runs were hit in 2013, and with the ESPN Home Run Tracker you can see where each one landed, how many were more than 450 feet and how many barely left the yard. (Scroll to the bottom of the graphic to search for team, player and pitcher home runs.)

2013 Home Run Tracker: Year in review

November, 1, 2013

Howard Smith/USA TODAY SportsThis Evan Gattis swing produced the longest home run of the 2013 season.
With the 2013 season complete, we take a look back at the long, the short and the lucky among home-run hitters this season.

Longest HR of the Year: Evan Gattis

On Sept. 8, Evan Gattis drove a Cole Hamels fastball 486 feet to dead center field at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for what would finish as the longest home run of 2013.

Gattis’ homer is the longest hit by an Atlanta Braves player in the past eight seasons and is tied for the ninth-longest in all of baseball over that same stretch.

That was the longest homer this season by 10 feet. The next-longest was a 476-foot shot by Hunter Pence of the Giants on Aug. 27 against the Rockies

Long Drive Champion: Mike Trout

Mike Trout led the major leagues in average home run distance this season (minimum 20 homers), averaging nearly 420 feet per homer.

Trout hit the longest home run of the season at two different ballparks -- Kauffman Stadium (463 feet) and Tropicana Field (458 feet).

Trout hit 13 homers that traveled at least 430 feet, the most such homers in the majors.

Pedro Alvarez (10) was the only other hitter in double digits.

Shortest Home Run of the Year: Brandon Snyder
On July 29 Red Sox infielder Brandon Snyder hit a ball off of Pesky’s Pole at Fenway Park that was calculated at only 312 feet, the shortest homer hit in 2013 (inside-the-park home runs not included).

Snyder’s homer is tied for the second-shortest out-of-the-park homer hit in the past eight seasons (trailing only a 311-foot shot by Jeff Keppinger in 2006). It is a familiar story for Fenway Park as the five shortest home runs in the majors since 2006 have all been hit in Boston.

Luckiest Home Run Hitter of the Year: Coco Crisp

Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp finished 2013 with a career-high 22 home runs. Crisp was able to take advantage of short fences down the lines, not hitting a single homer to left center, center or right center field.

Crisp’s average home run traveled 368.9 feet, the shortest average distance of any hitter in a single season with at least 20 home runs in the past eight seasons. The next-shortest was J.J. Hardy, who averaged 385 feet on his home runs.

Chris Davis Shows Power to All Fields

Chris Davis led MLB with an Orioles-record 53 home runs this season. He showed power to all fields, with 16 of his 53 home runs going to left or left center field, 14 to center field and 23 to right field. Davis’ average homer to center field this season traveled over 422 feet.

Unlikely Home Run of the Year

Miguel Cabrera finished second in MLB with 44 home runs. Yet, if it was not for the glove of Michael Bourn, he would only have 43.

On May 22, Cabrera hit a fly ball to the center-field wall at Progressive Field.

Bourn, a two-time Gold Glove winner, started to backpedal as he approached the fence. He then leaped with the intention of robbing Cabrera of extra-bases. Instead, the ball ricocheted off his glove for a home run.

Had Bourn not made contact, the ball would have traveled only 386 feet and would not have been a home run in any major league park. In fact, it would have been 38 feet shy of the fence in the same location at Comerica Park, Cabrera's home field.

Longest Postseason Home Run of the Year

Mike Napoli’s home run off Anibal Sanchez in Game 5 of the ALCS was calculated at 460 feet, the longest home run of the 2013 postseason. The 460-foot blast is also tied for the second-longest postseason home run since the beginning of ESPN HR Tracker in 2006, trailing only a 479-foot homer by Manny Ramirez in 2007.

Napoli’s 460-foot home run was his fourth home run of 2013 (regular and postseason) calculated at 460 feet or more, the most such home runs this year. No other player even had three such home runs.

Only Matt Holliday has had more home runs calculated at 460 feet or more in a season (five in 2006).

Speaking of Holliday, he had three of the 10 longest home runs in the 2013 postseason. His longest was a 430-foot home run off Ryan Dempster in Game 1 of the World Series.

For more information on home-run distances in 2013, go to

Soriano leads August's HR highlights

September, 1, 2013
Illustration by Trevor Ebaugh

With August in the books, here's a look at the month's most notable performers when it came to homer hitting, with a quick peek ahead to the top September homer-hitting storyline.

Soriano was most prolific
Alfonso Soriano tied Miguel Cabrera with an MLB-high 11 home runs in August. He has 12 home runs since being traded to the Yankees on July 26, including 8 at Yankee Stadium.

Soriano has taken advantage of the dimensions at Yankee Stadium, hitting three home runs to the opposite field, after hitting no opposite field home runs at Wrigley Field in his previous five seasons.

As you can see in the image above, Soriano's average homer distance is considerably shorter at Yankee Stadium than it was in the more spacious and more windy Wrigley Field.

Pence goes longer than anyone
Hunter Pence’s 476-foot home run at Coors Field on Aug. 27 was the longest home run in the majors this season. It was a career-long for Pence and the longest by a Giant in the eight-year history of ESPN Home Run Tracker.

It surpassed a pair of 475-foot homers, by Anthony Rizzo and Mark Trumbo.

This season, no one hits homers harder or longer then Pence. He has the highest average home run distance (422.6 feet) in the majors, the fastest average speed off the bat (108 mph).

Pence hit two of the four longest home runs in August, including a 459-foot blast at Marlins Park on Aug. 18. He is tied for the major-league lead this season with three home runs of at least 450 feet.

Previewing the AL home-run chase
Entering September, Miguel Cabrera trails Chris Davis by four home runs for the AL home run lead. Cabrera stands a strong chance to capture consecutive AL Triple Crowns if he can catch Davis.

Entering last September, Cabrera trailed Adam Dunn by five home runs and proceeded to hit 11 the rest of the season, finishing with a major-league-high 44. In the previous three September/October’s, Cabrera averaged six homers. But Davis kept pace with Cabrera at the end of last season, hitting 10 in the final month.

Davis has an average home run distance of 405.4 feet in 2013, more than a foot longer than Cabrera’s average distance of 403.7 feet. Davis’ average distance in August was 416.7 feet, his longest in any month this season.

Davis’ average was aided by a career-long 466-foot blast on Aug. 10, the longest homer between the two players this season. Cabrera’s season-long is 453 feet, done twice, including one in his 3-home run game May 19 against the Texas Rangers.

For more home-run info, including data on every homer hit in 2013, visit

Quality and quantity to Upton's home runs

May, 1, 2013

Daniel Shirey/Getty ImagesJustin Upton left little doubt to each of the 12 home runs he hit in the first month of the season.

The month of April ended in style when it came to home runs. There were 50 home runs hit on Tuesday, the most in a single day since Sept. 11, 2007 when there was also 50 home runs.

No team had more than the Cleveland Indians, who hit seven against the Philadelphia Phillies, including three off Roy Halladay. The 50 home runs measured a combined 19,992 feet, or just under 3.8 miles.

Here’s a look at some of the HR highlights from the first month of the season.

Player of the Month
Justin Upton hit a league-leading 12 home runs in April, two shy of the MLB record for the most in March/April. None of Upton’s home runs were cheap -- each one traveled more than 400 feet. His longest of the month came on Opening Day against Cole Hamels. It went 460 feet, Upton’s 12th home run of at least 450 feet in the past four seasons. That’s tied with Giancarlo Stanton for the most in MLB over that span.

Upton’s average home run distance in April was 423.5 feet, that’s the highest this season among players with at least six home runs. Upton hit eight home runs in April that went at least 420 feet, four more than any other player and three more than he had all of last season. This is resurgence for Upton, who led baseball in 2011 with 18 home runs that traveled at least 420 feet.

Unlikely HR of the Month
On April 13, Nick Swisher hit a 397-foot home run at Progressive Field in Cleveland off Chris Sale. The ball cleared the 19-foot left field fence by about 10 feet.

ESPN Stats & InformationNick Swisher's home run on April 13 was helped significantly by a strong tailwind.

The home run appeared to be a clear no doubter. However, at the time the wind was blowing 23 MPH out to left, which pushed the ball an extra 69 feet. If there was no wind, the ball would have landed about 14 feet shy of the warning track and would not have been a home run in any major-league park. It was the most wind-aided home run since David Wright’s home run was pushed 72 feet by the wind in Citi Field on April 24, 2011.

Since the start of the 2006 season, only eight other home runs have been aided more by the wind than Swisher’s.

Longest of the Month
There was a tie between the Cubs Anthony Rizzo and the Angels Mark Trumbo. On April 18 against Alexi Ogando, Rizzo hit a career-long 475-foot home run to right-center field. It was the longest home run hit at Wrigley Field since 2008.

On April 29, Trumbo matched Rizzo, hitting a career-long 475-foot shot off Dan Straily to left-center field at the Coliseum. It was Trumbo’s third home run longer than 470 feet in the last three seasons, the most in baseball. There are only three other players (Giancarlo Stanton, Prince Fielder, Nelson Cruz) who have hit multiple 470-foot home runs during that time span, and 19 total such home runs. In addition, Trumbo’s home run was the longest hit at Oakland in the past eight seasons.

Every home run hit in the month of April

May, 1, 2013
Almost 800 home runs were hit in the month of April, and with the ESPN Home Run Tracker you can see where each one landed, how many were more than 450 feet and how many barely left the yard. (Scroll to the bottom of the graphic to search for team, player and pitcher home runs.)

Stanton dominates all aspects of HR-hitting

September, 1, 2012

Giancarlo Stanton has been almost impossible to pitch to since returning to the Marlins lineup.

This month’s Home Run Tracker monthly awards were dominated by a Miami Marlins player who showed no home-run related issues from missing a month due to injury. Let’s take a look at his accolades and a few others.

Player Power Surge of the Month
July Winner: Josh Willingham, Minnesota Twins
August Winner: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

Both Stanton and Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres hit 10 home runs this month, but Stanton gets the tiebreaking nod for this award based on his average home run distance (429.4 feet to Headley’s 398.0).

It is nearly impossible to compete with Stanton here, as six of his 10 home runs went over 430 feet, including three 450-foot home runs on consecutive days.

No Doubter of the Month
July Winner: Cameron Maybin,
San Diego Padres (485 feet)
August Winner: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins (494 feet)

Stanton hit not just the longest homer of the month, but the longest home run of the season on Aug. 17, a 494-foot blast off Josh Roenicke.

Stanton, who has seven home runs of 450 feet or more this year, hit the fifth-longest home run since the beginning of ESPN HR Tracker in 2006.

Masher of the Month
July Winner: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
August Winner: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins.

Stanton racks up his third award of the month, averaging 429.4 feet per home run. Stanton hit three home runs of at least 450 feet on consecutive days in August and three others that went over 430 feet.

Next-best on the long-distance list: Justin Ruggiano (averaged 426 feet on his five home runs) and Pedro Alvarez (425 feet on his five homers)

Fast Ball of the Month
July Winner: Garrett Jones, Pittsburgh Pirates (116.6 mph)
August Winner: Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox (119.1 mph)

Dunn hit a 437-foot home run off Brad Lincoln on Aug. 15 that had a speed off bat of 119.1 miles-per-hour, the fastest homer in the majors all month.

Stanton finished second in the month with a 465 foot, 117.0 mph homer three days later, but the May and June winner could not quite pull off the fast-ball hat trick.

“Mother Nature’s HR of the Month”:
July Winner: Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies
August Winner: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies

Utley hit a 391-foot home run off Trevor Cahill on August 5 that was aided an extra 37 feet by a 15 mph wind at Citizens Bank Park.

Under standard conditions (70 degrees, no wind), it would have been a routine out in all 30 ballparks.

Team Power Surge of the Month
July Winner: New York Yankees
August Winner: Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox hit 45 August home runs totaling 17,967 feet (3.40 miles worth of homers). Dunn hit four 430+-foot home runs, including a 460-footer on August 13, helping the White Sox’s cause.
ESPN Stats & InformationGiancarlo Stanton had only one home run in April, but since then he's been hitting with power over most of the strike zone.
One game after returning from the disabled list, Giancarlo Stanton recorded his first multi-home run game of the season as the Miami Marlins blanked the New York Mets 13-0 Wednesday night.

As he has done all season, Stanton punished fastballs in this game. Three of his four hits came against heat, and the other came on a slider that was only five miles per hour slower than the fastball on the previous pitch.

The key to getting the young slugger out this season has been to get him to chase pitches outside the strike zone. All four of his hits Wednesday came on pitches in the zone, and all 21 of his home runs this season have been on strikes.

That contrasts sharply to his numbers outside the zone, where he hits .154 and only has four extra-base hits in 91 at-bats this season. Over 40 percent of his plate appearances that end on pitches outside the zone have been strikeouts.

The Mets were unable to get Stanton to chase any of four pitches outside the zone. His first two hits against Chris Young came on the first pitch, a situation where he hits .477 and slugs .818 on the season.

Stanton’s second home run was on a line drive. He leads the majors with seven line-drive home runs this season and his 14 line drives to leave the park since his debut in 2010 trail only Jose Bautista and Mark Trumbo.

Surprisingly, neither of Stanton’s home runs against the Mets topped 400 feet. Coming into the game, 11 of his 19 home runs had a true distance of at least 400 feet.

His two homers in the game give Stanton 21 for the season. The Elias Sports Bureau confirms that he joins Alex Rodriguez as the only active players with three 20-homer seasons before turning 23.

Gone Fishing
Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 26 games. That’s the longest hitting streak ever for a player after leaving the Mets, snapping a tie with Jeff Kent. It also ties Emilio Bonifacio for the second-longest hit streak in Marlins history.

The 13-run margin in a shutout ties the second-largest in franchise history; the Marlins beat the Colorado Rockies 17-0 in a game in September 1995.
It was a game of comebacks at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, as the Baltimore Orioles outlasted the Detroit Tigers 8-6 in 13 innings.

It was the fourth time this season that the Orioles played at least 13 innings. That’s the most in the majors, and Baltimore is a perfect 4-0 in such games this season.

The O’s are 10-2 in extra innings this season, the most wins in the majors. Since the start of the 2010 season, the Orioles have 31 extra-inning victories, also tops in MLB. The Cincinnati Reds, who beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 10 innings Saturday, are third on the list with 27.

The hero was Taylor Teagarden, who made his Orioles debut by entering the game as a defensive replacement in the 11th inning. Teagarden’s two-run homer provided the winning margin and was his first career walk-off hit.

Teagarden bailed out Baltimore closer Jim Johnson, who allowed a season-high three runs in picking up his second blown save of the season. Entering the game, Johnson had allowed only five runs in 37⅓ innings.

J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones also got into the action with game-tying hits in extra innings. Jones tied the game in the 11th and leads the majors with four game-tying or go-ahead hits in extra innings this year. Hardy hit a solo homer in the 13th, the first time in his career that he has tied a game by going deep after the ninth inning.

There have been nine home runs hit in the 13th inning or later in the majors this season, and the Orioles have four of them.

That offset the efforts of Quintin Berry, who was in line to be the hero for the Tigers. After picking up his first career game-tying ninth-inning hit to force extra innings, he got his second career extra-inning go-ahead hit in the 13th.

Diamond Dust
• The hero in Cincinnati was less of a surprise. Ryan Ludwick hit his fifth career walk-off home run as the Reds downed the Cardinals 3-2 in 10 innings.

• The Atlanta Braves rallied late to cost R.A. Dickey the win, but he has made 15 straight starts without a loss. That’s the fourth-best streak in New York Mets history. Tom Seaver (1969-70), Dwight Gooden (1985) and Johan Santana (2008-09) all have 18-game streaks without a loss.

• Andrew McCutchen homered in three straight games for the first time in his career. Since he hit his first long-ball of the season on May 8, only Jose Bautista has more home runs.
This is the Home Run Derby edition of our Home Run Tracker awards, focusing on the eight players competing in the Derby on Monday night. The awards are for home runs hit in the first half of the regular season.

All information goes back to the 2006 season, the first year of the ESPN Home Run Tracker Database.

NO DOUBTER -- Given to the player who hit the home run with the longest true distance

Carlos Beltran
Winner: Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals (464 feet)

Beltran hit an Ian Kennedy pitch 464 feet on May 8, his longest since Sept. 28, 2007, when he hit one 466 feet. Of the eight participants, Beltran is the only one to eclipse the 460-foot mark this season.

WALL SCRAPER -- Given to the player who hit the home run with the shortest true distance

Winner: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays (340 feet)

Bautista’s home run off Dillon Gee on May 20 had a true distance of 340 feet. Bautista has the two shortest homers of the eight participants and is the only one to hit a home run fewer than 350 feet. He does have two homers of more than 450 feet, as well, so not all of his are short ones.

Mark Trumbo
MASHER -- Given to the player with the greatest average home run distance

Winner: Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Trumbo’s 22 home runs have averaged 419.5 feet, the best in all of baseball (min. 10 home runs). Eighteen of his 22 home runs went farther than 400 feet, including two that went farther than 450.

MOONSHOT -- Given to the player who hit the home run with the highest apex (Apex: the maximum vertical height a ball reaches during its flight)

Winner: Trumbo (151 feet)

On June 10, Mark Trumbo hit a 364-foot home run with an apex of 151 feet, the fifth highest of the season; no other participant has a homer with an apex higher than 140 feet.

Carlos Gonzalez
LINER -- Given to the player who hit the home run with the lowest apex

Winner: Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies (46 feet).

Gonzalez and Robinson Cano each had a 46-foot apex home run, but Gonzalez wins the tiebreaker because his left the park in 3.15 seconds compared to Cano’s 3.44. Gonzalez won this award on April 29 in extra innings off Frank Francisco.

FASTBALL -- Given to the player whose home run had the fastest speed off the bat

Jose Bautista
Winner: Bautista (117.5 mph)

Giancarlo Stanton originally had this award before his knee injury forced him out of the Derby, when his 462-foot home run had a speed off the bat of 122.4 mph on May 21, breaking the left-field scoreboard at Marlins Park. With Stanton out, Bautista takes his second award when his 430-foot home run on May 16 had a speed off the bat of 117.5 mph.

MOTHER NATURE -- Given to the player who hit the most climate-impacted home run

Winner: Beltran

At Kauffman Stadium off Jonathan Sanchez on June 24, Beltran hit a 386-foot home run aided 50 feet by a 13 mph wind. If those same wind conditions exist Monday, the Derby will be quite an event.

Beltran, CarGo strong NL picks in derby

July, 9, 2012
Here is a breakdown of the National League players in the Home Run Derby (ESPN, 8 ET) field as well as players not in the field who merit consideration based on analysis from information provided by ESPN Home Run Tracker. Click here to check out our American League breakdown.

Of the 64 home runs hit at Kauffman Stadium this season, 24 have gone to left field (37.5 percent). The average home run distance there is 413.0 feet, second only to Coors Field in Colorado (414.2 feet). The participants likely to have the most success Monday night will have power to left field and have a high average home run distance.

Carlos Beltran
Carlos Beltran
The only switch-hitter in the field, Beltran has hit 15 of his 20 home runs from the left side of the plate. It might serve Beltran better to hit right-handed, as the three homers he hit to left field came as a right-handed batter. Only five of his home runs would not have been out of Kauffman Stadium and only six went fewer than 400 feet.

Carlos Gonzalez
Gonzalez averages 412.4 feet per home run, the best in the National League (min. 15 home runs). Despite hitting just two homers to left field, Gonzalez has hit 11 that would have been out of Kauffman Stadium.

Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen replaces Giancarlo Stanton, who had four home runs of more than 450 feet, the most in the majors. McCutchen has 18 homers, but he doesn’t have a single 450-foot home run and averages only 398.9 feet per homer.

Matt Kemp
Matt Kemp
Kemp is in because he’s the captain. He did hit 12 home runs in April but just four of them would have been home runs at Kauffman. None of those 12 went to left field and Kemp barely averages 400 feet per home run (400.2).

Other NL players who are not in the field but warrant consideration:

Ryan Braun
Braun leads the NL in home runs by a wide margin with 24, but averages just 405.6 feet per homer. Fewer than half of them would have left Kauffman (11), and only five were hit to left field.

Matt Holliday
Matt Holliday
Holliday has only 14 home runs, but he’s averaged 410.4 feet per long ball. Half of his homers went to left field and eight would have been out of Kauffman.

Wilin Rosario
Rosario would have been an interesting choice had he made the All-Star team. He averages 412.8 feet per home run and only four have traveled fewer than 400 feet. He has one 450-foot blast and 10 of his 14 homers would have been out of Kauffman.

Bautista, Trumbo best AL choices for derby

July, 9, 2012
Here is a breakdown of the American League players in the Home Run Derby (ESPN, 8 ET) field as well as players not in the field who merit consideration based on analysis from information provided by ESPN Home Run Tracker. Click here to check out our National League breakdown.

Of the 64 home runs hit at Kauffman Stadium this season, 24 have gone to left field (37.5 percent). The average home run distance there is 413.0 feet, second only to Coors Field in Colorado (414.2 feet). The participants likely to have the most success Monday night will have power to left field and have a high average home run distance.

Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista
Bautista is tied for the league lead in home runs with 27, 19 of which have gone to left field. He has two 450-foot home runs, tied for the most in the field with Mark Trumbo.

Prince Fielder
At first glance, Fielder doesn’t look like an ideal candidate. He has only 15 home runs, none of which have gone to left field. However, all but one of his homers would have been out of Kauffman Stadium and he averages 411.7 feet per home run.

Mark Trumbo
Mark Trumbo
Trumbo averages 419.5 feet per home run, the best in baseball (min. 15 home runs). Ten of his 22 home runs have gone to left field, he has two of more than 450 feet and only four have failed to travel 400 feet. In addition, 17 of his homers would have left Kauffman Stadium.

Robinson Cano
Thirteen of Cano’s 20 home runs would have been out of Kauffman Stadium, but he does not have a homer of more than 450 feet and only one homer went to left field.

Other AL players who are not in the field but warrant consideration:

Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton
Hamilton ruled himself out early on, but he averages 416.2 feet per home run, second to Trumbo, and 19 of his 27 homers would have been out of Kauffman Stadium. His 469-foot blast off Mark Melancon on April 17 is tied for fifth longest this season.

David Ortiz
Fifteen of his 22 home runs would have left Kauffman, but he doesn’t have a 450-foot homer this year, averages slightly more than 400 feet per home run (403.8) and only two of his home runs went to left field. Ortiz declined an invitation.

Adam Dunn
Adam Dunn
Twenty of his 25 home runs would have been out of Kauffman Stadium, the most in the majors. Dunn averages 412.3 feet per home run, which is fifth best in baseball (min. 15 home runs), and has 18 homers of more than 400 feet.

Adam Jones
Although he averages fewer than 400 feet per home run (398.3), 12 of his 20 home runs have gone to left field and 15 would have been homers in Kansas City.

Edwin Encarnacion
Could have been considered had he made the All-Star team. Encarnacion’s average home run distance is 412.5 feet, the third best in baseball (min. 15 home runs). In addition, 16 of his 23 homers would have been out of Kauffman Stadium.

For Verlander, some fastballs were too fast

April, 11, 2012
Leon Halip/Getty ImagesAfter pitching 16 scoreless innings to start the season, Justin Verlander picked up the Tigers' first loss by allowing four runs in the ninth inning against the Rays.
For eight innings on Wednesday, Justin Verlander pitched like the reigning American League MVP and Cy Young winner. Twenty-three pitches later, the Detroit Tigers were on the way to their first loss of the season.

Verlander needed just 81 pitches to get through the first eight innings against the Tampa Bay Rays with the Tigers leading 2-0. That brought him to 16 scoreless innings with just three hits allowed on the season. In the ninth, he allowed four runs after surrendering three hits and a walk.

Verlander was the first pitcher to throw eight scoreless innings before allowing four or more runs in the ninth inning to take a loss since Tim Hudson for the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 22, 2005, against the Philadelphia Phillies.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s the first starting pitcher to pick up a loss after allowing no runs on one hit or fewer in the first eight innings of a game his team led entering the ninth since Mark Langston of the Seattle Mariners in 1989. Langston took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before losing to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Verlander struggled with his fastball in the ninth inning, seemingly from over-throwing the pitch. In his first 16 innings this season, Verlander averaged 93.1 mph on his fastball, reaching a maximum velocity of 97.9. On 13 fastballs in the ninth inning against the Rays, every pitch came in above that average. He measured as high as 99.5 mph and averaged 97.2 during the frame.

Even with the extra oomph, the Rays were able to get to Verlander because he was leaving the ball over the plate. Entering the ninth, opposing hitters were 2-for-25 against Verlander’s fastball as he threw only eight percent down the heart of the plate. In the ninth inning, he threw 31 percent of his fastballs straight down the middle, including two hits by the Rays.

Quick Hits

• With the Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks losing and the Minnesota Twins winning, every major-league team has at least one win and one loss.

• Six days after tying a career-high by allowing 10 hits against the St. Louis Cardinals, Josh Johnson didn’t make it out of the fourth inning against the Phillies after allowing a career-high 11 hits.

• Peter Bourjos hit the second inside-the-park home run in Target Field history. The ball traveled 372 feet and would have been out of 10 ballparks.

• Tim Lincecum lasted just 2⅓ innings against the Colorado Rockies, his shortest outing in 157 career starts.

• The Oakland Athletics won in the bottom of the 12th inning when Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. It was the first time game-ending hit by pitch since … Brad Lidge hit Gomes as the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies on August 21, 2011. From Elias, it was the first game to end with back-to-back hit batters since 1966.

• Stephen Strasburg tossed six scoreless innings, topping 100 pitches for the first time in 19 career starts with the Nationals.
The plotted locations for Aramis Ramirez's six home runs at Wrigley Field last season that would not have been home runs at Miller Park.
The Milwaukee Brewers are hoping that Aramis Ramirez can find Milwaukee as much to his liking as he did Chicago.

The three-year contract to which he and the Brewers agreed is the biggest in Brewers history for a free agent in terms of average annual value. He’ll replace Casey McGehee as the team’s everyday third baseman.

Historically Wrigley Field lived up to its “friendly confines” billing for Ramirez during his eight-season stint there.

In 2011, Ramirez hit .332 at home, with 14 home runs, 49 RBI, and a .557 slugging percentage, one nearly 100 points better than his road slugging numbers.

Over the past four seasons, Ramirez had a .972 OPS at Wrigley, the ninth-best of any player in his home ballpark in that span.

Though Miller Park is more statistically friendly to right-handed power hitters than Wrigley Field, video review by ESPN HR Tracker showed that, six of Ramirez’ 14 home runs hit at Wrigley Field in 2011 would not have been home runs at Miller Park.

That’s because Milwaukee’s home ballpark is a bit deeper in left center field than Wrigley Field is (the difference appears to range from three to 16 feet), and that’s the area to which Ramirez tends to homer most frequently.

The image at the top of this article shows the ballpark dimensions for Wrigley (in red) and Miller Park (in black) and the landing spots of those six home runs. Four of the six would have been very close to leaving the ballpark, but video review judges them to be just short.

Ramirez did not homer to right field at home in any of the last three seasons, so Miller Park’s dimensions being shorter to that side, don’t figure to benefit him.

The best skill that Ramirez brings to the Brewers lineup is the ability to hit breaking pitches. Over the last two seasons, Ramirez is among the best hitters both at those that are the most hittable.

Ramirez had an .885 OPS in at-bats that ended with breaking pitches over the last two seasons, fifth-best of anyone in the major leagues. His performance was comparable with the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista and Robinson Cano, those considered among the best hitters in baseball.

Ramirez’s biggest issues are on defense at the hot corner. The Brewers made a statistical upgrade on the defensive side by signing Alex Gonzalez to play shortstop. But the stats show that playing Ramirez to Gonzalez’s right could be costly.

In each of the last four seasons, Ramirez has posted a negative Defensive Runs Saved, with that metric showing that he has cost his team 35 runs in that span. That’s third-worst among major league third basemen. Ramirez’s plus-minus rating on ground balls showed him to be 54 bases below the average third baseman since 2008.

For more on Ramirez’s defensive struggles last season, check out our previous piece on the subject.

Mark Simon, Jacob Nitzberg, and Tom McKean contributed to this post

David Wright empathizes with Morneau

November, 13, 2010
David Wright sounded a little homesick when talking with ESPNNY’s Adam Rubin today about Justin Morneau’s comments regarding ballpark dimensions and how that related to him. Justifiably so.
David Wright

In 2008, Wright had arguably the best season that any player had in the 45-season history of Shea Stadium. He set a single-season Shea record with 68 RBI. His 21 home runs and .618 slugging percentage were tied for the second-best there, and his .437 on-base percentage was the fourth-best. Those numbers were a near-match for those he put up at Shea the year before.

Wright had the best batting average (.318) and slugging percentage (.555) of any Met who played more than one season in that ballpark, which typically wasn’t too hitter-friendly, but is a pleasure compared to what he’s experienced at Citi Field.

Greg Rybarczyk of Hittrackeronline studied Wright’s fly balls and found that he lost nine potential home runs at Shea Stadium to the depths of Citi Field in 2009. Similar checks haven’t been made on Wright’s 2010 flies, but he made some adjustments there, increasing his homer tally from five to 12.

Even with that, Citi Field ranks as the ballpark that puts the biggest death grip on right-handed power hitting. The Mets and their opponents right-handed hitters hit 61 home runs at Citi Field in 2010, 97 on the road.

The recently-released Bill James 2010 Handbook calculated a “Park Factor” of 64 for right-handed hitters at Citi Field, second-worst of any ballpark in the majors (for lefties, it ranks much closer to average, tied for 11th-worst).

Wright spoke of how he felt opposite-field power was his strength. In 2007 and 2008, he hit 12 home runs at Shea Stadium that classified as going to right field or right center. In 2009 and 2010, he had just four. In two seasons, he’s hit one home run to right-center at Citi Field.

Last season, when Wright hit the ball to the right side at Citi Field, he hit just .259, a drop from .338 in 2008 and .333 in 2009.

It’s not just Wright’s home run total that has been impacted. Wright averaged 20 doubles per season at Shea from 2005 to 2008, or one every 14.3 at-bats. In two seasons at Citi Field, he’s totaled 29 two-base hits, one every 18.3 at-bats.

Inside Edge, which provides video scouting analysis to major league teams and media outlets, started classifying balls in play based on five categories of depth (deep, slightly deep, routine, shallow, and infield).

When Wright hit a ball that Inside Edge classified as deep or slightly deep in Citi Field last season, he had 25 hits and 23 outs (including sacrifice flies). On the road, when he hit balls of those depths, he had 32 hits and 21 outs.

Give any hitter seven more hits and two fewer outs and check out the wonders it will do for his stat line and his confidence. That’s something the Mets management should keep in mind when they try to figure out the right (or Wright) thing to do with their ballpark's dimensions.