Statcast: Going in-depth on Papi's historic homer
On the same night that veteran slugger David Ortiz made history by joining the 500-home run club, the game's next generation of stars put their all-around talent on display across the Majors on Saturday night.
While Statcast™ will provide an in-depth look at Ortiz's history-making homer, the innovative technology will also provide a glimpse into some of the spectacular performances by some of the league's top prospects. From a flawless night at the plate by the Dodgers' top prospect to one of Minnesota's next big stars making a highlight-reel grab to an Astros' phenom slugging another big homer, the game's youngest players kept Statcast™ plenty busy throughout the night.
In addition to those plays, Statcast™ will also break down yet another no-doubter home run from the Blue Jays, as well as one slugger robbing another with a diving catch in Seattle. Here's a closer look at some of the night's best action, courtesy of Statcast™.
Ortiz crushes history-making homer
Big Papi left no doubt with his 500th career homer, crushing a fifth-inning pitch from Rays starter Matt Moore a projected 432 feet. The history-making shot jumped off of Ortiz's bat at 105.6 mph, right on par with his season average exit velocity of 105 mph for home runs. The projected distance, meanwhile, easily surpassed his season average of 405 feet entering play Saturday.
Ortiz also hit a first-inning homer on Saturday, sending another Moore pitch off his bat at 103.8 mph and a projected 375 feet. The Red Sox beat the Rays, 10-4.
The 21-year-old shortstop swiped his second career base in the first inning, reaching a max speed of 20 mph after extending his lead to 12.1 feet against D-backs starter Rubby De La Rosa. Four innings later, Seager smacked his first career homer, sending a Josh Collmenter pitch a projected 422 feet into the seats in right field. Despite the pitch being just an 86-mph cutter, the ball jumped off Seager's bat at a blistering 110.3 mph.
Buxton makes near-perfect diving grab
Fellow 21-year-old top prospect Byron Buxton also showed off his elite speed on Saturday, albeit with a glove on his hand. The Twins outfielder reached a max speed of 19 mph as he raced into the left-center field gap to make a fully-extended diving catch to rob White Sox catcher Geovany Soto of extra bases in the fifth inning.
Buxton took his first step just 0.48 seconds after contact and covered a total distance of 57 feet, all while logging a superb route efficiency of 98.1 percent. The White Sox beat Minnesota 8-2.
Correa hits his hardest, longest homer yet
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, continued the trend with an absolute rocket home run in the sixth inning against the Angels.
Correa's blast against Angels starter Hector Santiago jumped off his bat at a scorching 112.3 mph, and it traveled a projected distance of 469 feet. It was his farthest home run yet, as well as his hardest-hit homer, though he did record an exit velocity of 115.1 mph on a base hit against the Twins last week.
Houston lost to the Angels, 3-2.
Phillips keys perfectly executed double play
The Reds infield combined for a crucial, swiftly turned double play in the seventh inning of their 5-1 victory over the division-leading Cardinals.
With a pair of runners on base and Cincinnati clinging to a two-run lead at the time, third baseman Todd Frazier fielded a Jhonny Peralta grounded and quickly fired to Brandon Phillips at second base. Phillips took it from there, needing only 0.7 seconds from the time he caught the throw until the time he released his 65.9-mph dart to first base to complete the inning-ending double play.
CarGo robs Cruz with sprawling snag
Although Carlos Gonzalez has been a frequent Statcast™ subject courtesy of his mammoth home runs, the Rockies outfielder finds himself featured for his glove this time around, instead of his bat. Gonzalez sprinted toward the right-field line before laying out to make an inning-ending, diving grab to rob fellow slugger Nelson Cruz of extra bases and save at least one run in the process.
Gonzalez took his first step just 0.4 seconds after contact then reached a max speed of 18.2 mph as he covered a total distance of 67 feet, all while turning in a route efficiency of 98 percent. Houston lost to the Angels, 3-2.
Bautista hits towering go-ahead homer
Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista put on a show in the first game of the club's doubleheader against the rival Yankees. Along with hitting a home run to open the scoring, Bautista crushed a towering go-ahead homer off of reliever Dellin Betances in the eighth inning of Toronto's eventual 9-5 victory.
The go-ahead shot left Bautista's bat at 106.6 mph and traveled a projected distance of 429 feet before landing in Monument Park in straightaway center field.