February 2, 2023

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The leaderboard Stanton dominates the most

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The ball Giancarlo Stanton crushed at 114 mph in the top of the first inning on Thursday afternoon in Baltimore was unusual, at least in one respect.

Per Statcast’s calculations, the lined shot to left field would have been a home run in 29 of the 30 Major League ballparks. The only exception? Camden Yards, where the new outfield dimensions kept the ball in the park.

But that turned it into something much more common: a Stanton single with top-of-the-charts exit velocity.

Going back to when Statcast debuted in 2015, nobody has ever hit the ball quite like Stanton. The 2017 NL MVP and current Yankees slugger is responsible for seven of the 12 hardest-hit home runs, including the top two. The same goes for seven of the 14 hardest-hit doubles, including the top two. Overall, Stanton has blistered nearly 100 more balls at 115-plus mph than anyone else in that span, accounting for nearly one of every four ripped with that high an exit velo across MLB.

The hard-hit single, though? That’s a true Stanton specialty. His 114-mph shot on Thursday — which preceded his fourth-inning solo homer — isn’t even high up the list.

To see any player so thoroughly dominate any particular leaderboard at the highest level is unusual, but that’s exactly what Stanton does.

Singles hit 120+ mph in Statcast Era
Stanton: 10
All other players combined: 0

Singles hit 119+ mph in Statcast Era
Stanton: 17
All other players combined: 4

Singles hit 118+ mph in Statcast Era
Stanton: 23
All other players combined: 13

Singles hit 117+ mph in Statcast Era
Stanton: 35
All other players combined: 25

Singles hit 116+ mph in Statcast Era
Stanton: 50
All other players combined: 60

Some of those have been worm burners — ground balls scorched right into the turf before zipping through the infield and threatening worms and fielders alike. Some have been line drives that found the outfield in a split second and perhaps even reached the wall so quickly that it prevented extra bases.

Breakdown of Stanton’s 62 115+ mph singles in Statcast Era
41 ground balls | 21 line drives
24 pulled | 35 straightaway | 3 opposite field
39 vs. RHP | 23 vs. LHP
32 at home | 30 on the road
17 barreled | 45 not barreled

When Stanton eventually calls it a career, his legacy as a hitter will be the home runs. The 32-year-old already has 357 of them, including Thursday’s, many of them of the monstrous variety. With the benefit of health, he figures to climb far up the career leaderboard.

But as much as Big G excels in the field of big fly production, he stands out as an even greater outlier when it comes to mashing the hardest singles anyone has ever seen.

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