Stanton hits 478-foot HR; fan barehands it
MIAMI -- The way Giancarlo Stanton is swinging the bat, the slugger appears to be playing his own game of, "Can I top this?" A day after knocking the ball into the camera well, Stanton went even farther to center field.
Stanton's mammoth blast went over the back wall (or batters' eye) with a drive that was caught barehanded by a fan in the corner of the second deck. The drive, according to Statcast™, was tracked at 478 feet and had an exit velocity of 115 mph.
Stanton's latest prodigious home run came in Miami's 5-3 loss to the Braves on Saturday at Marlins Park. Even in batting practice, hitting the ball that far to straight-away center is rare for Stanton.
"Only a handful of times, up there, for sure," Stanton said. "I can maybe think of three times."
Stanton actually feels short-changed by the Statcast reading. Informed it was 478 feet, the slugger said: "That's not 478. I don't know who is deciding that. Check it out yourself, you're seeing it."
The fourth home run Stanton has clobbered over the past four games is now the third longest tracked by Statcast this season. Stanton has three of the five longest homers tracked by the system this season (also ranking fourth and fifth on the list).
"People don't realize how hard that is," Miami left fielder Christian Yelich said of Stanton's tape-measure drives. "He makes it look easy."
A fan named Ryan Mont from West Palm Beach, Fla., who was attending his first game of the season, made a one-handed catch on Stanton's drive. Sitting in section 134, the last thing he expected was to catch a home run.
"It was kind of a surprise, because we thought it was going to drop," Mont said. "Or I thought it was going to be too far to reach. Luckily, I had enough length to grab it."
Mont said he would like an autograph from Stanton, who responded, "Yeah, no problem."
On Tuesday, Stanton's 475-foot laser left Dodger Stadium. And on Friday, he launched a 474-foot drive, which landed in the camera well.
The top two longest home runs, according to Statcast, were hit by Nelson Cruz (483 feet) and Josh Donaldson (481 feet).
Stanton felt Saturday's blast was hit better than the ball that bounced over the pavilion at Dodger Stadium.
"I think that was further, the one today," he said.
Since breaking into the big leagues in 2010, Stanton hasn't had a regular-season home run measured as far as 500 feet. But in his opinion, he has reached the plateau -- even though the tracking models haven't recognized them.
• In 2012 in Colorado, he had shot tracked at 494 feet.
• In the 2014 Home Run Derby in Minnesota, he launched a drive into the upper deck at 510 feet.
Asked to compare the Derby homer to Saturday, the slugger said, "That's kind of tough, with how high as that one [at Target Field] was. It's definitely up there."