WOW. What a week for home runs! It kicked off with a bang when Mookie Betts made history by tying the career mark for three home run games on Thursday night. Then there was that weird pit stop on Monday where everyone argued whether or not players should have fun and try to hit home runs in 3-0 counts, and (unrelated) the Seager boys both left the yard in the same game. On Tuesday nine players hit two dingers in the same game, and Manny Machado capped it all off on Wednesday evening with a walk-off grand slam against the Rangers. So we were busy. However, with so many homers hit we also saw an uptick in dirty, nasty, no-good bat flips. Let’s dive into those now. These are… your Top 10 Bat Flips of the Week.
8/15 – KC @ MIN
409ft, 103 mph, 25° launch angle
Maikel Franco got all of this hanging curveball from Jake Odorizzi, and gave it a ride for a 2-run round-tripper Saturday. After caving in this pitch for a 400-foot blast, Franco quickly tossed away his bat as if it had burned him to swing it so hard through the zone. That’s raw power.
Giant Cutout Heads: Staring at you
8/16 – LAD @ LAA
428ft, 105.2 mph, 32° launch angle
There were many (and I mean many) great bat drops to choose from this week, but this one from L.A. slugger Max Muncy takes the cake. Muncy has made a name for himself as one of the surprise superstars LA seems to churn out annually when he burst onto the scene in 2018, dropping bombs and bats like it was going out of style. This one against Angels starter Julio Teheran came with a little extra English on it as Muncy has fought to bust out of his sub-Mendoza line slump to start the season. Look at how he smirks when he drops that lumber. Yeuch. That sucker is gone.
Power: Maxxed Out
8/16 NYM @ PHI
391ft, 103.8 mph. 35° launch angle
If there was a shortlist of the most likable players in MLB, Andrew McCutchen would be on it. From looking cooler than the freezer section of Costco to pimping home runs like this bomb off of Rick “he’s on the Mets now?” Porcello, Cutch pretty much does it all when he’s on the field. Seeing him struggle early in his return from an ACL injury makes these joyous moments feel so great, and they kind of like a time machine back to his days as the face of the Pirates. When Cutch hits, everyone has a good time. Unless you’re Rick Porcello, I guess.
The Drip: Limitless
8/15 TEX @ COL
397ft, 100.9 mph, 35° launch angle
I missed Derek Dietrich home runs. From the massive, violent swings themselves to the theatrics of a showman like Dietrich, there are few sights more spectacular than watching him crush one into the night. After being picked up by the Rangers following a release from the Cubs, Dietrich dingers are back on the menu, and he gave us a show with his first one of 2020. Dietrich’s trademark swagger came through here in a big way when he shrugged away his bat after swatting an opposite-field missile off of Colorado’s Carlos Estevez. Just watch as his giant chain swivels around his neck as he connects here. Absolutely majestic.
Matching Your Sick Chain with a Golden Bat: Ballin
6. Monte Harrison vs. Will Smith
4/15 – ATL @ MIA
403ft, 103.5 mph, 28° launch angle
Welcome to The Show Monte Harrison! After debuting earlier in August, the rookie found his power stroke and hit his first-ever home run in the big leagues. It came off of the formidable Will Smith who is working his way back from a bout with COVID-19 that sidelined him for the start of the season. It wasn’t a wall-scraper, either. Harrison’s first ball got way out of the cavernous Marlins Park, and his bat flip got great airtime too. Way to make your first one memorable, Monte!
Rotation: a flat 360°
8/17 – COL @ HOU
429ft, 106.4 mph, 26° launch angle
Trevor Story and Fernando Tatís Jr. are beginning to show up so often on this list that I’m starting to wonder if they should just get their own segment. This week, Story’s victim was Houston rookie Brandon Bielak, against whom he sent a ball out to the train tracks in Houston’s Minute Maid Park. It was the Rockies’ only run of the game, but Story thought to give it some pizzazz as he slung his bat out of his hands. It arced through the air with poise and majesty and traveled far enough to rack up frequent flyer miles. Same time next week, Trevor?
The Train: Awfully Quiet
8/14 – BOS @ NYY
457ft, 109.7 mph, 28° launch angle
Gary Sanchez gets a bad rap. Despite being one of the best offensive catchers of the last five years, his rough start to the season has some calling for him to ride the bench in 2020 (and for… who exactly?). He attempted to turn his detractors around by depositing this 1-2 cheese roughly 600 feet into the Yankee Stadium bleachers, then floated his bat behind him as he admired his blast. It must be fun to hit home runs that far.
The Kraken: Released
8/14 – OAK @ SF
365ft, 96.7 mph, 29° launch angle
Trevor Gott had a rough weekend. It started with a loud crack off of the bat of Stephen Piscotty when he hit an unthinkable game-tying grand slam in the top of the 9th, leading to a comeback victory over the Giants in extra innings on Friday. Piscotty’s clutch swing was only surpassed by his beautiful bat flip immediately after contact, a no-doubt celebration for a ball that almost looked like it might stay in the park. But the baseball did leave the yard, Gott blew the save in his next two games, and San Francisco sank further into the cellar of the NL West. All in all, a pretty fun weekend for Oakland.
That Ball: Taking the Bay Area Rapid Transit
8/19 – TEX @ SD
436ft, 112 mph, 20° launch angle
Hoooooh, boy. After capturing the attention (and derision) of sports social media Monday night by calling out phenom shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr. for doing his job and hitting a fun grand slam, Texas manager Chris Woodward tasted the wrath of another San Diego slugger with a grand slam of his own when Manny Machado walked off Rafael Montero and the Rangers Wednesday night. Machado sent a full-count fastball on a one-way trip out of the yard with this laser of a swing, then flung his bat into the air before pounding his chest in triumph.
Justice: Sweet and Timely
8/16 – WSH @ BAL
410ft, 108.9 mph, 26° launch angle
It’s not every day we get a Hall of Famer on this list. Max Scherzer is pretty cool too, I guess. Pedro Severino absolutely bodied Mad Max on this 2-0 gas, driving it 410 feet down the line in left for a 3-run bomb. Severino and the Orioles have been lighting it up lately in the East, and Pedro made a statement here against Scherzer with a crispy toss down the line as he looked on at his teammates in the Baltimore dugout. The O’s are on a tear, and blasts like these are why. And with that, we once again have our Top Bat Flip of the Week.
The Orioles: Flying High
Until next time!
Photo Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter & IG)