Monday, July 10, 2017

Aaron Judge wins the HR derby

Aaron Judge wins the HR derby

He hit one ball 513 feet, which is the longest hit ever scientifically recorded without wind assistance, and the longest ever hit in an indoor park since Home Run Tracker started calculating every one in the majors. He had two others over 500 feet. No other player hit one beyond 496.

513 feet is quite closer to the maximum a baseball can be hit with major league equipment. The highest exit velocity ever recorded with a wooden bat is 122.4 MPH. Even Judge had never hit one which left the bat at more than 119.6 MPH in a real game. A ball launched at that all-time 122.4 maximum speed off the bat, in the absolute optimal trajectory for distance, will travel between 514 and 515 feet.

Note that it even more difficult to drive the ball mammoth distances in a home run contest because the pitcher is throwing the ball slowly. Yes, the pitcher is grooving it, but the same swing off a 95 MPH fastball will create more exit velocity than off a 70 MPH batting practice pitch.

In other words, Mr. Judge is performing very close to the limit of human endeavor.

(At 6'7" and 282 pounds, he is also getting close to the maximum size, at least for baseball. Among players with 500 or more plate appearances, only three men in history have weighed more officially: Dmitri Young at 295, Kennys Vargas at 290 and Adam Dunn at 285. Young is 6'2', Dunn is 6'6" and Vargas is 6'5". Giancarlo Stanton is practically petite compared to those guys, at a mere 6'6", 245. I suspect that some noted fat guys, whose names will remain unpublished here, weighed more than 300.)

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