On Monday MLB shared some of the longest spring training home runs hit so far in 2021. There’s still about a week to go, so some of them may be surpassed, but what a sight to see.
A slight caveat is in order, naturally.
Spring training sites aren’t all equipped with the same equipment. StatCast statistics are available in some stadiums, but not all. Games hosted by 11 of the 30 teams will have StatCast stats, the rest might be a little more of an estimate.
So there’s that to be aware of. That said, you don’t need stats to tell you some of these home runs went a country mile.
These highlights have a decidedly sharp foot: all were hit in the Cactus League. The moister air of Florida must keep distances down a bit.
The longest home run recorded in a StatCast ballpark wouldn’t even have cracked the top 10 list this spring.
MLB’s longest spring training home runs of 2021
1. Jorge Soler – 484-foot home run, Royals vs. Rockies, March 22
This, unfortunately, is one of those home runs that isn’t in a stadium with StatCast equipment.
Nonetheless, you can watch as Royals outfielder Jorge Soler sends the baseball over the hillside in left field, hitting a 2-2 fastball offered by Rockies reliever Dereck Rodriguez.
There’s no-doubters, and there’s no-doubters. It was only a question of how far it would go.
Funny thing is, that wasn’t even the longest home run on his own team this season. It turns out that’s a tie.
1. Bobby Witt Jr. — 484-foot home run, Royals vs. Athletics, March 9
About two weeks earlier, Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. had his own monster home run to left-center.
Again, no StatCast in the stadium, so it’s not an exact number. But the estimate of the shot hit of A’s pitcher Yasmeiro Petit, clocked in at 484-feet after flying over the hillside as well.
At the time, the shot unofficially became the Royals’ longest home run of the StatCast era (keeping in mind that only dates back to 2015 and this wasn’t measured by StatCast).
Brandon Moss had the official record with 474 feet in 2017.
3. Christian Walker — 470-foot home run, Diamondbacks vs. Rockies, March 9
The Rockies showed up as the victims again. This time Jairo Diaz stood on the mound, watching a towering home run fly toward left-center.
Christian Walker’s offering nearly cleared the berm at Salt River Fields, measuring in at 470 feet. That gives him the longest home run in any StatCast-equipped stadium this spring.
Walker launched the 94-mph slider at a 112.4 mph exit velocity.
4. Shohei Ohtani — 468-foot and 464-foot home runs, March 3 and 16
Is it cheating to combine a pair of Shohei Ohtani home runs into one? Maybe. But they’re just so similar it’s hard to separate them much.
In both cases, Ohtani took the pitch to center field, hitting it over the batter’s eye .
The more recent one was measured as the shorter, at 464 feet. That came off the Indians March 16.
The prior moonshot came against the Rangers on March 3, and looked just as majestic off the bat.
5. Patrick Kivlehan, 465-foot home run, March 10 vs. Rockies, March 10
This one isn’t in the highlight reel above, but it’s definitely worth watching. Taking a 0-2 slider offered by Rockies reliever Phillip Diehl deep to left, Padres outfielder Patrick Kivelehan got all of the mistake.
StatCast recorded the hit at a 112.5 mph exit velocity and 24-degree launch angle.
The monster home run went about two-thirds of the way up the left field berm, just missing the light pole.