According to ESPN’s Hit Tracker Online, only one home run registered at 480 feet or longer last season: an Evan Gattis monster home run off of Cole Hamels at Citizens Bank Park, which went 486 feet. It may be Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton’s personal mission to be the distance champion of the 2014 season.
Facing Padres starter Eric Stults in the bottom of the first inning with a runner on first base, Stanton crushed an 89 MPH fastball to left field above the “Budweiser Balcony”. It registered at 484 feet. It eclipsed Stanton’s 2013 best, a 463-foot shot off of Phillies pitcher Ethan Martin. He hit a longer one in 2012, a 494-foot blast against Josh Roenicke of the Rockies.
Don’t worry, there’s video of it:
Indians third baseman José Ramírez had to be carted off the field in the top of the third inning of Sunday afternoon’s Cactus League game agaisnt the White Sox. Ramírez fouled a pitch off of his leg during an at-bat against pitcher Sean Nolin.
MLB.com’s Mandy Bell reports that Ramírez was diagnosed with a left knee contusion after he was taken for X-rays. The X-rays were negative, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Ramírez, 26, finished third in AL MVP Award voting last season, batting .270/.387/.552 with 39 home runs, 105 RBI, 110 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases across 698 plate appearances. He was worth 7.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. If Ramírez lands on the injured list, that would obviously be a huge loss for the Indians, despite being the overwhelming favorites in the AL Central entering the season.
The Indians will already start the season without second baseman Jason Kipnis and shortstop Francisco Lindor, though both are expected to return before the end of April. The infield is in rough shape at the moment.