Giancarlo Stanton truly has a unique talent. No other player in baseball can consistently hit the ball with as much authority as him. As Yankees fans, we have been lucky to witness this talent firsthand since the 2018 season.
Stanton’s unique ability to punish the ball has manifested in some of the hardest hits and line-drive home runs. Since Statcast was made public at the outset of the 2015 campaign, Stanton has been in the 100th percentile each season. As for his average exit velocity, the 98th percentile is the lowest that Stanton has fallen in his career since 2015, according to Baseball Savant. Simply put, Stanton is the epitome of hitting the ball hard, as he demonstrated last night on a 118.3-mph single. His domination of the exit velocity leaderboards is evident when looking at the exit velocity charts.*
*Note: All data was current as of the start of play on Tuesday.
Looking at the top 10 hardest hits since 2015, eight belong to Stanton; the other two belong to Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez. Furthermore, among those in the top 10, Stanton occupies four of the top five spots, including No. 1 overall: a 122.2-mph single in 2017. Stanton again dominates the chart when moving to the top 25 batted balls by exit velocity. Of the top 25, Stanton holds 20 of these spots, and expanding further, he occupies 36 of these spots when looking at the top 50. To put this dominance into perspective, the player with the second-most number of hardest-hit batted balls in the top 50 is Judge with seven. The other players who round out the top 50 include Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Shohei Ohtani with two each, and Nelson Cruz, Manny Mchado, and the aforementioned Sánchez with one apiece.
Next, looking at the hardest-hit home runs since 2015, Stanton occupies 5 of the top 10, 11 of the top 25, and 14 of the top 50. To put this in perspective, Judge occupies 8 of the top 50, followed by notable sluggers like Pete Alonso (3), Guerrero (2), Ohtani (2), and Ronald Acuña Jr. (1). Compared to some of the most talented players in the league, Stanton is unmatched in his ability to crush a baseball as hard as consistently possible when he can stay healthy. While he may not be as good of a defensive outfielder as Judge or be the baserunning and power threat that Acuña is, he is definitively better than any of these players at regularly making hard contact with the baseball.
Below, I have included several clips of impressive home runs hit by Stanton. According to Baseball Savant, each of these home runs is classified as a line drive, and Stanton is easily able to swat these long balls to any field. First up is Giancarlo’s hardest-hit home run ever, launched at 121.7 mph on August 8, 2018, off the Texas Rangers.
Next is a 117.9-mph line-drive walk-off home run to center field that Giancarlo hit off the Seattle Mariners on June 20, 2018.
The clip below shows a 115.7-mph home run that Giancarlo slugged in Cleveland on April 23, 2021. What is even more impressive about this home run is that it’s a 418-foot opposite-field home run at spacious Progressive Field.
Here’s another line-drive bullet that Stanton hit at 119.3 mph to left field off the Toronto Blue Jays on June 6, 2018. I can remember watching this game and staring in disbelief at how easy Stanton made hitting a line-drive homer look.
Finally, I have included what is likely Stanton’s most important and satisfying home run of the otherwise-disappointing 2021 season: his September 25, 2021, 114.1 mph grand slam against the Boston Red Sox. After watching this, remember that Stanton mashes a baseball better than anyone else in Major League Baseball.
All hail Giancarlo Stanton, the exit velocity king.