CLEVELAND — When a player launches a ball into an outfield concourse or a pitcher lights up a radar gun, one of the first questions that’s always asked is: Has that been done before? Since it began measuring in 2015, Statcast has allowed us to track nearly every aspect of
CLEVELAND — When a player launches a ball into an outfield concourse or a pitcher lights up a radar gun, one of the first questions that’s always asked is: Has that been done before?
Since it began measuring in 2015, Statcast has allowed us to track nearly every aspect of the game to see who has hit the farthest homer, who has thrown the fastest pitch, who has hit the hardest ball and so many other fun statistics.
Here’s a guide to the best (and sometimes, the worst) of Cleveland’s Statcast numbers, so that the next time a huge play happens in a game, you’ll be the first to know whether it has happened to a member of the Tribe before.
Who has hit the hardest ball for a homer? Franmil Reyes, 114.1 mph
Reyes may not have been around the club for a while, after being acquired by the Tribe at the 2019 Trade Deadline and playing through a shortened season in ’20, but he has already set the team’s record for the hardest-hit long ball. On Aug. 16, 2020, Reyes destroyed a ball to deep center field at Comerica Park that prompted the Detroit broadcasters to blurt out in disbelief, “This dude is some kind of strong.” It traveled a whopping 453 feet into the shrubbery.
Who has hit a homer off the fastest pitch? José Ramírez, 99.1 mph
No Cleveland player has smacked a homer off a 100 mph pitch since 2015, but Ramírez came close on July 12, 2018, against Luis Severino, who fired a heater over the outer third of the plate. Ramírez got just enough behind it to squeak a 364-foot home run over the right-field wall at Progressive Field.
Who has recorded the highest launch angle for a homer? Roberto Pérez and Edwin Encarnación, 46 degrees
Pérez’s homer came in Detroit against Jordan Zimmermann on April 9, 2019, as he launched a high fly ball that the wind couldn’t help but carry over the left-field wall given its hang time. His launch angle matched Encarnación’s record that was set two years prior on June 18 against Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson.
Who hit the highest pitch for a home run? Franmil Reyes, 4.01 feet
You never want to catch too much of the plate when you’re facing someone like Reyes. Detroit’s Michael Fulmer made sure to stay out of the zone, but he still couldn’t avoid the wrath of Reyes’ bat. On Aug. 16, Reyes connected for the second-highest pitch for a homer in the Majors in 2020.
Who hit the lowest pitch for a home run? Yan Gomes, 0.88 feet
Gomes apparently liked the low ball, as he’s responsible for each the Indians’ three lowest balls hit for homers. On April 13, 2017, he sent an offering from White Sox reliever Dan Jennings over the left-field wall.
Who threw the fastest pitch? Austin Adams, 100.4 mph
Just two pitches by Cleveland pitchers since 2015 have clocked in at triple digits, and both belong to Adams. During the same game against the Mariners on May 31, 2015, Adams hit 100.0 mph and 100.4 mph.
Who had the fastest strikeout pitch? Austin Adams, 99.3 mph
It’s only fitting that the person with the fastest pitch also had the fastest strikeout pitch. Adams fanned Carlos Gómez on a 99.3 mph fastball just above the strike zone on July 22, 2015.
Who had the highest expected batting average on a ball that resulted in an out? Tyler Naquin, .982 xBA
On April 4, 2019, Naquin served a fly ball into deep center field against the Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez that traveled 385 feet but was run down by Randal Grichuk. Expected batting average is based on exit velocity and launch angle, comparing how similar batted balls have fared.
Who had the lowest expected batting average on a ball that resulted in a hit? Oscar Mercado, .005, xBA
On May 29, 2019, Mercado caught a break when Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt and right fielder Mookie Betts stopped and looked at each other on a ball that would regularly be a popup or fly ball in shallow right field.
Who had the hardest-hit base hit? Bradley Zimmer, 114.6 mph
During his rookie campaign in 2017, Zimmer laced a two-run double off Sonny Gray on May 30 that still stands as the Tribe’s hardest-hit ball, including homers.