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Realmuto's 1st Phillies HR an absolute laser

@ToddZolecki
March 30, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- J.T. Realmuto might like playing half his games at Citizens Bank Park. After spending the past five seasons with spacious Marlins Park as his home ballpark, Realmuto was acquired by the Phillies in a trade in February. He crushed a two-run homer to left-center field off Braves right-hander

PHILADELPHIA -- J.T. Realmuto might like playing half his games at Citizens Bank Park.

After spending the past five seasons with spacious Marlins Park as his home ballpark, Realmuto was acquired by the Phillies in a trade in February. He crushed a two-run homer to left-center field off Braves right-hander Wes Parsons in the fifth inning Saturday, giving the Phillies a two-run lead in an 8-6 victory.

The ball left Realmuto’s bat at 112.8 mph, making it his hardest-hit batted ball since Statcast began tracking in 2015. The ball traveled 434 feet.

“Another pretty notable moment tonight was when J.T. hit that ball, a line drive to left-center field, that he knew was a home run halfway down the first-base line,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “That doesn’t happen all that often. That ball was a low line drive. Sometimes that ball is going to clank off the top of the fence. He drilled it, crushed it. But it was really interesting to me that he knew immediately that it was a home run on a low line drive. It speaks to his power.”

Realmuto hit .277 with 21 home runs, 74 RBIs and an .825 OPS last season with the Marlins. But his career home splits (.245/.294/.384) were drastically different than his career road splits (.309/.356/.492). Statcast shows that at least seven batted balls last season at Marlins Park would have been home runs at Citizens Bank Park.

MLB.com’s Mike Petriello wrote in the offseason that balls are not hit as hard at Marlins Park compared to other ballparks. There is no definitive explanation for it, but the baseballs, atmosphere and ballpark could account for it.

Realmuto, who was presented with his National League Silver Slugger Award before the game, also singled to center to score a run in the second inning. It was his first career hit with the Phillies.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .