Diamondbacks 1B/OF Peter O'Brien hit a game-tying three-run home run in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s Cactus League exhibition against the Giants, but it held significance in another way as well. As MLB.com’s Mike Petriello explains, his home run left the bat at 119 MPH, becoming the hardest-hit home run measured in the Statcast era.
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Granted, that’s only one season, but it includes a season in which 92,000 balls in play were tracked. Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit two balls harder than O’Brien’s, but neither went for home runs. His 120.3 MPH hit was a single against Mike Bolsinger on May 12 and a 119.7 MPH hit against Jerome Williams was a double on May 1.
O’Brien’s power has long been recognized, as it was his calling card as a prospect in the Yankees’ and Diamondbacks’ systems. In fact, MLB Pipeline wrote, “There are few hitting prospects with more raw power than O’Brien,” grading his power a 60 on the 20-80 scale.
O’Brien was drafted as a catcher, but the Diamondbacks had him play in the outfield last year and he started at first base in Tuesday’s contest. Depending on how the Diamondbacks shape out health-wise during the season, he could get a call up at some point.