We’ve already seen plenty of monster home runs in 2021, and the second half is still young. The longest we’ve seen in a game thus far traveled 485 feet. But there’s plenty of season left for more moonblasts.
Through Saturday, July 31, at 2 p.m., fans can go to mlb.com/pickem to predict who’ll hit the longest homer over the final two months of the regular season for a chance to win $100K in cash or Bitcoin.
Nine MLB.com writers picked candidates to hit the longest homer over the rest of the season.
Here are the picks:
1) Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres
Longest HR in 2021: 477 feet (June 16)
Longest HR since 2015: 477 feet (June 16, 2021)
This was a tossup between Tatis and Shohei Ohtani, but the tiebreaker goes to Tatis thanks to three Padres-Rockies games lined up at Coors Field from Aug. 16-18. That’s where Tatis clobbered a Kyle Freeland changeup for his 477-footer in June, but he’s been hitting moonshots everywhere. Tatis has averaged 416 feet on his roundtrippers, tied with Ohtani and three others for the fourth-longest average distance of anyone with at least 10 homers. As the Rockies and D-backs (who have 17 combined games remaining against Tatis’ Padres) drop further out of contention and pitcher fatigue builds, look for Tatis to start feasting.
-- Matt Kelly
2) Shohei Ohtani, Angels
Longest HR in 2021: 470 feet (June 8)
Longest HR since 2015: 470 feet (June 8, 2021)
It’s the Year of Ohtani. He’s doing things we’ve never seen anyone do in MLB history, so why not add hitting the longest homer over the remainder of the season to the list of his 2021 accomplishments? He’s averaging 417 feet on his 34 home runs so far this season, which is tied for fourth in MLB among those with at least 10 homers on the year. Ohtani’s 100.9 mph average exit velocity on fly balls and line drives this season leads the Majors, and he’s barreling the ball more often than anyone in baseball -- 25.7 percent of batted balls. It’s only a matter of time before we see this guy launch a 500-foot homer in a game. Don’t be surprised if it happens in the Year of Ohtani.
-- Manny Randhawa
3) Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees
Longest HR in 2021: 471 feet (April 5)
Longest HR since 2015: 504 feet (Aug. 6, 2016)
If there’s an old reliable in this conversation, it’s this guy. Brace for the numbers, there are plenty of them. Statcast has recorded two home runs at 500 feet or more, one of which belongs to Stanton. Since the advent of Statcast, no one has more home runs of 450 feet or more. He has 27 of them, and a 10-homer lead over second place in the category (held by some guy named Nelson Cruz). His average home run distance since 2015 is 417 feet, and he has quite a few 110+ mph liners that didn’t have much time to travel pulling that number down. Talk about champagne problems. Even in the event he doesn’t go on one of his signature runs, the Yankees still have nine games left to play against the Orioles -- considering their shared track record, Stanton’s one to keep an eye on.
-- Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru
4) Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
Longest HR in 2021: 465 feet (May 16)
Longest HR since 2015: 465 feet (May 16, 2021)
No matter what stat you want to use -- barrel rate, hard-hit rate, maximum or average exit velocity, etc. -- there’s no denying that Vlad is one of the five or six best players in the game at simply mashing the baseball. But here are two reasons why he deserves this selection at No. 4. First, Guerrero has driven the ball out of the yard like almost no one else. Eleven of his 32 homers have traveled at least 430 feet; only Ohtani (12) has done that more often in 2021. Secondly, he has 10 matchups vs. the Orioles awaiting him during the season’s final five weeks. He has pounded Baltimore pitching for five homers in nine games already this year, so expect Vlad to go on a home run tear with some majestic shots down the stretch.
-- Brian Murphy
5) Mike Trout, Angels
Longest HR in 2021: 464 feet (April 6)
Longest HR since 2015: 486 feet (Sept. 5, 2019)
Yes, Trout is currently out with injury, but he’s expected back soon, and whenever you get a chance to pick Trout, you pick him. Even having missed time this year, he has a 460+ foot homer from April. Trout has four homers of at least 470 feet tracked by Statcast, tied for second most in the Majors since 2015 with George Springer. Only Giancarlo Stanton has more, with eight. Trout is pretty much always a great pick, regardless of the list, and this is no exception.
-- Sarah Langs
6) Pete Alonso, Mets
Longest HR in 2021: 443 feet (June 30)
Longest HR since 2015: 489 feet (July 17, 2019)
You saw the Home Run Derby, right? Not only did Alonso win the event for the second straight time, he did so with ease, while crushing four balls at least 508 feet. Yes, the Derby (especially one at Coors Field) is a different beast than a real MLB game, but it’s not like Alonso hasn’t shown plenty of power in those situations, too. It’s somewhat surprising that the Polar Bear hasn’t hit one 450-plus yet in 2021, but that might just mean that he’s due for a big one.
-- Andrew Simon
7) Joey Gallo, Rangers
Longest HR in 2021: 462 feet (July 7)
Longest HR since 2015: 495 feet (July 20, 2018)
Whether Gallo is dealt by the Trade Deadline on July 30 or he remains in a Rangers uniform, it’s not going to impact his ability to put baseballs into orbit. Gallo’s 495-foot homer in 2018 is tied for the fifth-longest blast in Statcast history (since 2015), and the 490-footer he hit the year before ranks just outside the top 10. The 27-year-old has slugged 16 homers at 450 feet or longer in his career, the third most by any player under Statcast tracking.
-- Thomas Harrigan
8) Aaron Judge, Yankees
Longest HR in 2021: 443 feet (May 16)
Longest HR since 2015: 496 feet (Sept. 30, 2017)
This draft is about one thing and one thing only: Which player can hit a baseball the farthest. Picking a 6-foot-7 behemoth All-Star slugger with a track record for hitting gargantuan home runs? No-brainer. Judge continues to be a consistent force, posting a slugging percentage north of .520 for the fifth straight season. And if you need a next-level metric: Judge owns four of the eight highest average exit velocities in a season (min. 100 batted balls) since the start of his star-making 2017, including a cool 95.8 mph this year.
-- Jason Catania
9) Bryce Harper, Phillies
Longest HR in 2021: 468 feet (April 25)
Longest HR since 2015: 473 feet (May 4, 2018)
Harper has dealt with nagging injuries throughout the year, but he still ranks in the 98th percentile in max exit velocity as well as the 94th percentile in barrel rate. Simply put, Harper hits it hard and hits it far. The Phillies outfielder has recorded one of MLB’s 40 farthest home runs in six of the seven seasons since Statcast was introduced, and his no-doubter percentage (a home run far enough to be hit out at all 30 ballparks) of 73.3 percent this year is tied for the third most among all players with 15 or more home runs thus far.
-- Michael Guzman