Baseball’s leader in average home run distance last season wasn’t Giancarlo Stanton. It wasn’t Evan Gattis nor Adam Dunn. It was Angels outfielder Mike Trout, averaging nearly 420 feet on his homers, ahead of second-place Justin Upton at 416.
Trout showed why he was last year’s leader — and could be this year’s leader, as well — when he hit a 3-1 Jason Vargas fastball 489 feet (per ESPN) out to center field into the fountain at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. The blast gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Watch it here.
Trout is currently slashing an MVP-esque .312/.402/.616 with 18 home runs, 59 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.