Yesterday Ben Badler pointed out the latest leaders in "true home-run distance" as tracked by Hit Tracker founder Greg Rybarczyk for ESPN's Stats and Information Group. The whole huge list is interesting, but here's the top five:
I will admit that I'm surprised Stanton's not at the very top of the list. I've been in the ballpark for a few of his home runs, and I would have bet that nobody in the world hit the ball harder. Then again, that was two years ago and maybe his injuries have cost him just a tiny bit of his power.
I am not surprised to see Trout in such rarefied air, though. Last spring, I was sitting near the left-field pole at a spring-training game. Trout's first time up, he hit a line drive that just carried the left-field fence. Trout's second time up, he hit a line drive that bounced off the top of the left-field fence; he had to hustle for the double. Neither drive had a great deal of distance, because of their low trajectories. But from where I was sitting, it was difficult to imagine that a human being could hit a baseball any harder than Trout hit those. It was obviously just a matter of loft. Of which there's been plenty this season.
And in case you're wondering what Mike Trout's lofty power looks like, here's a recent example: