Giancarlo Stanton may have some stiff competition for this year’s Home Run Derby. Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit the longest home run of the season when he sent a Logan Verrett slider out to left-center field, landing 495 feet away from home plate, according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.
The Diamondbacks’ Jake Lamb previously had the longest home run of the season at 481 feet. The only home run hit further last season was Giancarlo Stanton’s 504-foot blast, according to Statcast. Kris Bryant also hit a 495-foot shot in 2015.
Judge also singled, doubled, and drew a walk through the first six innings of Sunday’s action. As of this writing, he’s hitting .341/.448/.702 with 20 home runs, 45 RBI, and 53 runs scored in 248 plate appearances.
Update: Judge hit his 21st homer in the seventh off of Jimmy Yacabonis, a two-run blast. It only went 402 feet, though. Only.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.