An inside-the-park home run is one of the most electrifying plays that can happen in a baseball game. All the right circumstances need to be just right, from the location of the hit to the judgment of the fielders to the speed of the runner, for it to come together. With
An inside-the-park home run is one of the most electrifying plays that can happen in a baseball game. All the right circumstances need to be just right, from the location of the hit to the judgment of the fielders to the speed of the runner, for it to come together.
With that in mind, August has become a thrilling and historic month -- and there are still seven days to go. J.T. Realmuto's inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning of the Marlins' 9-8 win over the Phillies on Thursday marked the eighth inside-the-parker hit in the Majors since Aug. 1. That's the most recorded in a calendar month since May 1997, when Major Leaguers combined to hit eight inside-the-parkers in a span of eight days.
We have a much better understanding of the factors involved in these thrilling plays than we did in the spring of 1997 thanks to Statcast™ technology. Below are the eight inside-the-park home runs we've seen this month, along with the most interesting Statcast™ figures behind them.
Aug. 7: Javier Baez, second inning vs. Giants
The play: Baez hit a blast that hit the base of the wall in Triples Alley at AT&T Park and caromed away from Giants outfielder Carlos Moncrief. Moncrief corralled the ball and fired an accurate 307-foot throw on a line to home plate, but Baez beat it out with a head-first slide to complete his trip.
Statcast™ says: Baez went around the bases in 16.11 seconds, recording the Cubs' fastest home-to-home time tracked by Statcast™ since the start of the 2015 season.
Aug. 12: David Peralta, eighth inning vs. Cubs
The play: Peralta will wear the nickname "Freight Train" on his jersey for Players Weekend, and this run was the perfect visual accompaniment to the moniker. The Arizona outfielder rumbled around third and dived into home plate safely, completing the 13th inside-the-parker in D-backs franchise history.
Statcast™ says: Peralta reached a top sprint speed of 28.5 feet per second, well above his 27.8 ft/sec average for the season. His 15.59 home-to-home time ranks as the D-backs' third-fastest since 2015.
Aug. 17: Daniel Descalso, fourth inning vs. Astros
The play: Descalso recorded the D-backs' third inside-the-park home run of the season after he hit a pitch from Astros starter Mike Fiers off the reconstructed center-field wall at Minute Maid Park. Jake Marisnick tracked the ball down but then dropped it out of his glove, allowing Descalso to make it home standing up.
Statcast™ says: Based on its 100.7 mph exit velocity and 24-degree launch angle, similar balls to the one Descalso hit have gone for home runs more than four out of 10 times. Descalso's hit the top of the wall, but with a fortunate carom that allowed him to circle the bases anyway.
Aug. 18: Byron Buxton, fourth inning vs. D-backs
The play: Buxton lifted a Zack Godley fastball to the deepest part of center at Target Field, hitting it off the wall. D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock misread the carom and allowed it to bounce far to his right. That was the opening Buxton needed, as he dived headfirst past the tag at home to dramatically tie the game at three.
Statcast™ says: Buxton already held the record for the fastest home-to-home time ever tracked by Statcast™ when he circled the bases in 14.05 seconds against Chris Sale and the White Sox last Oct. 2. This trip shattered that time, however, with Buxton reaching an elite 30.9 ft/sec sprint speed and racing around in just 13.85 seconds to set the Statcast™ record. With an average sprint speed of 30.1 ft/sec, Buxton is the second-fastest baserunner this season behind Reds speedster Billy Hamilton (30.2).
Aug. 18: Nicky Delmonico, eighth inning vs. Rangers
The play: Lightning struck twice on the 18th when the White Sox rookie pulled a Ricardo Rodriguez pitch toward the right field wall at Globe Life Park. Nomar Mazara couldn't complete a leaping grab, and Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor had to track the ball down, giving Delmonico time to circle the bases and record his second career multi-homer game.
Statcast™ says: Delmonico's fly ball had just a 20 percent hit probability, based on its relatively soft 92.9 mph exit velocity and 26-degree launch angle.
Aug. 19: Denard Span, first inning vs. Phillies
The play: Span got the home crowd on their feet early, beginning the Giants' day at the plate with the team's first leadoff inside-the-parker since Johnny Rucker for the New York Giants on June 20, 1945, at the Polo Grounds.
Statcast™ says: At the age of 33, Span put down a home-to-home time of 15.79 seconds to record the Giants' second-fastest time since the dawn of Statcast™ in 2015.
Aug. 22: Nick Castellanos, ninth inning vs. Yankees
The play: The Tigers trailed 13-3 with two outs in the ninth when Castellanos rewarded the Tigers fans who stayed until the finish. Castellanos, who had homered over the wall two innings before, hit a sinking liner that Jacoby Ellsbury misplayed, allowing the ball to roll toward the center field wall at Comerica Park. Castellanos made it home easily.
Statcast™ says: Castellanos rounded the bases in 15.78 seconds, recording the Tigers' only home-to-home time under 16 seconds since 2015.
Aug. 24: J.T. Realmuto, sixth inning vs. Phillies
The play: Realmuto's inside-the-parker came in a clutch spot for the Marlins, who trailed by two when he came to the plate with two out and a runner on first. His deep fly ball hit the perfect part of the angled wall in left-center at Citizens Bank Park, bouncing back down to center at an odd angle between the Phillies' outfielders. Realmuto made it around easily to record his second career inside-the-park home run.
Statcast™ says: Realmuto reached a top sprint speed of 29.2 ft/sec, well above the MLB average of 27 ft/sec but within range of his 28.7 ft/sec average for the season. Though he was playing at first base Thursday, Realmuto owns the fastest average sprint speed of any catcher in the Majors -- well ahead of second-place Willson Contreras at 27.4 ft/sec.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.