Major League Baseball's power surge reached new heights Friday night, as batters launched 33 more home runs to set an all-time record for the most dingers in a single month.June came to a close with a total of 1,101 homers, blowing past the previous record of 1,069 set in May
Major League Baseball's power surge reached new heights Friday night, as batters launched 33 more home runs to set an all-time record for the most dingers in a single month.
June came to a close with a total of 1,101 homers, blowing past the previous record of 1,069 set in May 2000. Five of the top eight months in history for round trippers have come since the 2015 All-Star break, including this May (1,060), which ranks third.
The night began with 1,068 homers for the month, but that didn't last long. Denard Span led off the Giants' game in Pittsburgh with the tying tater off Gerrit Cole, and soon after the Blue Jays' Justin Smoak took a pitch from Boston's Doug Fister over the wall in left-center field at the Rogers Centre.
Fittingly, in a time of rising power, the record-breaking three-run shot was Smoak's 22nd homer, two more than he hit in any of his previous eight seasons in the big leagues.
June needed only 30 days to get the job done, thanks in part to four individual days supplying at least 50 long balls apiece. June 17 featured the most homers (56), including two games (Cardinals-Orioles, Padres-Brewers) with eight apiece.
Meanwhile, there were 77 multi-homer games by individual players, including four by Dodgers rookie sensation Cody Bellinger. But it was an unlikely source who delivered the ultimate single-day slugging performance in June, as the Reds' Scooter Gennett stunned the baseball world becoming the 17th player to hit four homers in a game on June 6 against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park.
Bellinger, in just his second full month in the Majors, led the way for batters with 13 homers. Houston's George Springer hit 11 -- four of them leadoff shots -- while Smoak and Yankees phenom Aaron Judge were among those who got to 10.
Although Bellinger did not go deep Friday, his teammates did so three times to finish June with an MLB-high 53 homers, their most in any month in franchise history. The Mets also set a franchise record with 50, and the Brewers tied theirs with 49.
On the other hand, there had to be pitchers giving up all of those big flies, too. Cubs veteran John Lackey led the way in that regard, surrendering 11 in 35 1/3 innings across six starts. The Reds and Orioles led all teams by allowing 54 apiece.
Fortunately, with all of these balls flying out of ballparks across the Majors, Statcast™ was there to document a number of notable achievements.
Judge did more than his share, particularly during the weekend of June 10-11 against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. First he sent a 121.1-mph screamer into the left-field seats for the hardest hit home run by any player since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015. The next day, he unleashed a 495-foot drive that still stands as the longest homer of the season and is tied for second going back to 2015.
It wasn't just position players doing damage, either. Five pitchers homered during the month, including the Giants' Jeff Samardzija, who set a Statcast™ record for his position with a 446-foot blast at Coors Field on June 16.
Rangers slugger Joey Gallo helped close out the month in style Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, crushing the season's longest opposite-field homer, at 454 feet.
Hours later, with June already officially over on the East Coast, the barrage finally ended on the West Coast, with the Padres' Hector Sanchez taking the Dodgers' Sergio Romo deep in the bottom of the ninth inning at Petco Park.
And with that, as the weather continues to warm up, July is on the board. Better watch out in the bleachers.
Most home runs in a single month
- June 2017: 1,101
- May 2000: 1,069
- May 2017: 1,060
- August 2016: 1,053
- September/October 2015: 1,034
- August 2004: 1,033
- September/October 1999: 1,018
- June 2016: 1,012
- June 2001: 997
- September/October 2004: 997
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.