Way back and gone: Celebrating the 10 longest home runs of the 2015 season
For untold millennia, human beings wanted nothing more than to take flight and join with the celestial beings in the clouds above the world.
And then the airplane was invented. But you still had to a) have the money for an airplane and b) know how to pilot such a behemoth.
Barring that, the best option to explore the air above was simply to get really good at baseball and smash those suckers deep into the night sky. That's who we're here to honor today -- the men who said "no thanks" to gravity and blasted balls into the stratosphere like it was their jobs.
And, well, actually, that is their jobs. They're all baseball players.
Please enjoy the ten longest home runs of the 2015 season as measured by Statcast™:
10. Giancarlo Stanton - 478.38 feet
Get used to seeing this name. Even though Stanton missed half the season, this monster of a man still finished with 27 home runs, good for 10th in the National League. Naturally, many of them were monster shots, like this moonbeam against the Rockies' Eddie Butler. Just watch as even the umpire has no choice but to admire the shot.
9. Giancarlo Stanton - 478.41 feet
That's right, it's Stanton again. He's kind of like Freddy Krueger: Just as you think, "There's no way he could come back again," there he is, sneaking through your dreams.
It's an apt analogy -- especially as one fan managed to snag this one, presumably because he was wearing Krueger-like claw gloves.
8. Giancarlo Stanton - 478.61 feet
I call this one Nightmare on Elm Street: The Home Run Master.
7. Pedro Alvarez - 478.85 feet
If Stanton stars in a horror movie series, then Pedro Alvarez must be starring in a Pittsburgh regional theater's take on "Waterworld."
6. Hanley Ramirez - 480.53 feet
Chris Young gives up a lot of fly balls. What he doesn't give up are fly balls that travel roughly the height of a five-story building ... well, most of the time. Perhaps not surprisingly, this was the highest-hit ball on our list, hit at a space shuttle-ready 44.97 launch angle.
5. Josh Donaldson - 481.23 feet
Before the man bun (or the clip-on man bun), before he launched himself into the stands and our hearts and even before he was a leading MVP-candidate, Josh Donaldson blasted this home run on April 23rd. When watching the video, be sure to look out for the how the fans behind the plate leap to their feet. That's the sign of a true no-doubt home run.
4. Nelson Cruz - 482.68 feet
Nelson Cruz hit 40 home runs with the Orioles in 2014, but there were still questions about his power when he moved to the heavy air of Seattle and the spacious outfield of Safeco Field. He answered that pretty well with 44 home runs on the year.
Of course, his longest wasn't at Safeco, but rather his old stomping grounds in Arlington. Still, a 482-foot home run is a home run anywhere.
3. Jonathan Schoop - 484.50 feet
You don't see a lot of middle infielders on these lists, but you also don't see many players with a name as cool as Schoop (pronounced "scope." Like "yo, scope out the distance on that dinger.")
After a difficult rookie season in 2014, Schoop battled injuries, but still blasted 15 home runs and had the 7th-highest OPS among second baseman with at least 300 PAs. Oh yeah, he also had the longest home run by a second baseman by, like, a lot.
2. Michael Taylor - 492.77 feet
Looking at Michael Taylor's wiry, 6-foot-3 frame, you may wonder how he was able to muscle a ball out of the park like that. Of course, what you're missing is that Taylor is actually composed primarily of homer-hitting quantum particles.
1. Kris Bryant - 495.29 feet
When top prospects are called up, fans are supposed to hope for the best, but prepare for disappointment. After all, playing Major League Baseball is really hard -- even if you're a 20-something wunderkind with the most brilliantly blue eyes.
Of course, you throw that all out the window when it comes to Kris Bryant. Not only did the Cubs' rookie hit 26 home runs with 99 RBIs and an .858 OPS in his rookie season, but he also hit the longest home run of the season. Not a bad debut.