There are many ways to skin a cat and many ways to hit a home run. Not every bomb comes off a meatball right down the middle.
Some pitches are at the ankles, some at the eyes. Some pitches look like they might end up in the batter’s ribs and some look like they might end up in the dugout.
But they all end up in the same place - the seats. Let’s look at some of the most extreme home runs of 2014.
Farthest outside - Anthony Rizzo
This pitch crossed the “plate” about 12 inches - a full foot - off the corner. It’s crazy that Rizzo muscles this out the other way.
Farthest inside - Nolan Arenado
It doesn’t appear as dramatic as Rizzo’s shot above, but this pitch is only two inches closer to the plate. The center field camera distorts the true insanity of this pitch.
150 pitches thrown closer to the plate than this oddity hit batters in 2014.
Highest pitch - Matt Wieters
Matt Wieters is a very tall man but this is still insane. More than four feet off the ground, it was nearly as tall as Jose Altuve.
Lowest pitch - Alfonso Soriano
A sinker down in the zone, the Soriano special. He’ll hit anything out of the park. He’ll swing at anything thrown inside the park, too. You take the good with the bad.
Fastest pitch - Chase Headley
99.4 miles per hour. Big league hitters can turn around good velocity, especially when they start their swing before the pitcher releases the ball.
Slowest pitch - Reed Johnson
Eephus! Having a short swing has its advantages, it seems. This is what they mean when you hear “staying back on the ball.”
Lowest trajectory - Josh Donaldson
As part of the A’s new lease at O.co, their equipment managers are required to dry out sewage-soaked clothes on this Donalson clothesline. What a bullet.
Lowest trajectory, honorable mention - Giancarlo Stanton
Though a handful of dingers were hit lower than this rocket, none were hit to the opposite field. It’s one of the lowest oppo shots since, well, ever. The line drive to end all line drives.
Highest trajectory - Jose Abreu
By my watch, this ball was in the air for nearly seven seconds. According to ESPN’s Hit Tracker, it reached an apex of 160 feet in the air. You gotta be strong to hit them that high and still sneak it over the fence. Wow.
Shortest homer - Chris Davis
Tropicana Field, secretly a joke stadium. It almost killed David Dejesus! This pitch sneaks off the foul pole down the line, barely six feet in the air. Cheapies count too!
Longest homer - Giancarlo Stanton
There oughta be a law.
Best homer - Mike Trout
Probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen on a baseball field. Read more about this insanity right here.
Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Steve Mitchell