MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton served another reminder that he is the defending Home Run Derby champion. The three-time All-Star right fielder crushed a two-out home run off John Lackey in the third inning on Friday night in the Marlins' 2-0 win over the Cubs at Marlins Park.The thunderous shot was
MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton served another reminder that he is the defending Home Run Derby champion. The three-time All-Star right fielder crushed a two-out home run off John Lackey in the third inning on Friday night in the Marlins' 2-0 win over the Cubs at Marlins Park.
The thunderous shot was vintage Stanton. Per Statcast™, it landed a projected 458 feet away, with an exit velocity of 112.4 mph, and it was the third-longest home run of the season for the 27-year-old.
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On a night the Marlins had just three hits, Stanton had a double and the home run.
"There wasn't much hitting going on," Stanton said. "The pitchers were on point. It's a game where any little mistake, the other team was going to win by the way it was going. We played a solid, efficient game. The pitching was there. They did a good job."
Stanton is strengthening his case to becoming an All-Star yet again, and he's agreeable to defending his Home Run Derby crown at his home park. The native of Sherman Oaks, Calif., won last year's event in record fashion, connecting on 61 homers at Petco Park in San Diego, the most in the history of the event.
If he is again part of the Home Run Derby, Stanton will have home-field advantage, because the All-Star Game is at Marlins Park on July 11. The Derby will be on July 10.
Stanton has a history of making the improbable seem routine. He crushed Lackey's 83.4-mph curveball to the deepest part of Marlins Park. The ball smacked off the batter's eye.
"It definitely wasn't a good pitch," Lackey said. "He hit it over the fence."
The launch angle was just 20 degrees, making the homer a relatively low line drive. Statcast™ tracked its maximum height at 69 feet.
Of Stanton's 19 homers this season, 11 have come at Marlins Park.
Marlins Park, which opened in 2012, has never been known as a home run park, yet Stanton is hitting his share over the wall. Along with Stanton, Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna has 20 homers and Justin Bour has 18.
Is the ball traveling farther in Miami?
"I don't know," Stanton said. "Check the launch angles."
Actually, Stanton's average launch angle on all balls he puts in play is 13.30 degrees, which is above the MLB average of 12.75.
With Stanton, it's also a combination of brute force. Twelve of his homers have traveled with an exit velocity of 110 mph or more. Only Aaron Judge has more with 15. Friday's shot was just Stanton's third home run on a breaking ball on the outer third of the zone, since Statcast™ began in 2015.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.