Monday, July 9, 2012
Already handing out our HR Derby awards
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.