As August is in full swing, it’s time to take a look back towards July, to commemorate a month with some of the best bat flips and drops we have seen all season. It’s going to be a difficult task and an exciting mess to narrow it all down to the Best Bat Flip of the Month, which is exactly why I’m having you, the wonderful Pitcher List community do it for me instead. For those keeping score at home, in April the community bestowed Nick Castellanos with the highest of bat flipping honors, in May, Ronald Acuña Jr. wore the crown, and in June, Taylor Trammell took home the gold. It’s now time to vote for the best of the best in July! For a quick refresher, the following selections are all in chronological order and are not ranked.
Presenting the Best Bat Flips of July!
7/4 — Ronald Acuña Jr. vs. Zach Thompson
385ft, 103.2 mph, 30° LA
Beyond just being one of the hardest working and most talented players in baseball, Acuña is also one of the most dynamic and entertaining. Case in point: this righteous bat flip against the Marlins’ Zach Thompson last month. For most players around the league, this would be a standout moment in a tight game, with an electrifying celebration to match. But for Acuña, it was just a Sunday. He makes the incredible look downright routine, from his triple-digit homers to his superb speed around the bases. Baseball is much better with him healthy, and we hope to see him back soon.
7/7 — Ronald Acuña Jr. vs. Will Crowe
444ft, 110.1 mph, 25° LA
Ronald Acuña Jr. was tearing the cover off of the ball before he got hurt, as he bombed this pitch from Will Crowe to cut Atlanta’s deficit to a single run. At this point in his career, Acuña already has his celebrations down pat, uncorking a sweet bat flip to pair with what has become his signature post-homer arm… thing? I’m honestly not entirely sure what to call that. It reminds me of Henry Cavill ‘reloading’ his arms in Mission Impossible, so that’s what I’m going to go with. Acuña reloads the guns and slaps his chest before heading off to circle the bases, while that baseball finds its new home in the asteroid belt.
7/16 — Juan Soto vs. Chris Paddack
427ft, 108.4 mph, 36° LA
With a final score of 24-8, this game didn’t provide much for Washington fans to smile at, outside of this Herculean blast off of the bat of Juan Soto. Soto just straight up demolished this three-run bomb off of “The Sheriff” Chris Paddack to tie the game in the bottom of the first (before things got truly out of hand). It was a monster shot, and Soto gave it a monster reverse bat flip in response. The hand-over-hand rotation here was what set it apart from some of the flips lower on this week’s rankings, and Soto’s sideways shuffle imbued it with a fun energy as he tracked the ball’s flight over the fence.
7/26 — Sam Hilliard vs. Darien Nuñez
408 ft, 108.2 mph, 30° LA
Prior to the trade deadline, the Dodgers had been struggling through a rough period where they blew multiple games in a week in the final frame of the contest. Sam Hilliard‘s blast off of Darien Nuñez had been the latest in the disappointing run, and by far the most potent, as it traveled 408 feet into a very quiet right field pavilion. Hilliard then twisted the knife with a downright toxic bat flip, and giving fans a stunning highlight in the middle of an otherwise disappointing Colorado season.
7/26 — Pete Alonso vs. Ryan Borucki
450 ft, 111.3 mph, 29° LA
After collecting his second Home Run Derby victory in as many attempts a few weeks ago at the All-Star Break, Pete Alonso picked up right where he left off, bashing a solo shot and adding a new star to the New York skyline. Having extended the Mets lead to a 3-0 margin (where it would stay through the final out), Alonso wound up and slung his lumber off to the side, in an elegant yet exciting windmill motion. Get that outta here.
7/26 — Willson Contreras vs. Josh Osich
384 ft, 105.4 mph, 39° LA
At this point, Willson Contreras is something of a bat flipping veteran for all of his high leverage moments and accompanying celebrations. He added another clip to his highlight reel last month with a clutch late-inning drive off Reds reliever Josh Osich, tying the game at five apiece before rattling off an innovative over-the-back flip. In Contreras’ typical style, he takes a few seconds and steps down the first base line to admire the absolute missile he just sent into the crowd 384 feet away. As he begins to break into a trot, however, he tosses his bat back over his, well, back, sending it falling into the grass in his wake. It was new, it was fresh, and it looked pretty sweet to boot. Strong work.
7/26 — Javier Báez vs. Amir Garrett
361 ft, 93.3 mph, 33° LA
A couple weeks ago, Juan Soto begged the question, “Does a home run need to be hit for a bat to be flipped?” It appears Javier Báez has passionately answered with a heated display of his own, at the expense of the equally competitive Amir Garrett. The two have a history dating back to 2019, where they got into a bit of a kerfuffle (that is the technical term, yes) following an exciting end to a game. Then, earlier this season, Garrett brought out his “broom” and mimed it after the Reds completed a sweep of the Cubs. So there was history and a precedent for Báez’s response. Flash forward to last month, when Báez, in possibly his last big moment for the Cubs, walked off the game with a high arcing 361 foot “single” over the head of the centerfielder, scoring the winning run from third base. With the flip of a switch, Báez came completely unglued, and well, you can check out what happened next above. The broom came out, the bat was slammed down, and Wrigley was thrown into a frenzy in one of the most entertaining moments of the 2021 season to date.
7/27 — Joey Votto vs. Adbert Alzolay
410 ft, 114.1 mph, 23º LA
Joey Votto went on an almost unprecedented run in July as he briefly turned into the titular character of Matt Christopher’s youth baseball novel, The Kid Who Only Hit Homers. Votto went yard in an incredible seven consecutive games, becoming the eighth player in history to do so. What’s more is he almost made it eight straight, as the future Hall of Famer just missed clearing the wall in the Reds’ Saturday contest against the Mets. This flippant bat drop was the highlight of Votto’s unconscious run, after having muscled a pitch from Adbert Alzolay to the opposite field and over the ivy.
7/27 — Fernando Tatis Jr. vs. James Kaprielian
440 ft, 111.8 mph, 32° LA
Tell me something: are you at all still surprised by Fernando Tatis Jr.? Day after day he gives us some of the most dynamic and exciting baseball in MLB, and does it all with a gleaming smile on his face. He was back at it again last month, with this towering drive off of Oakland’s James Kaprielian. He then hit everyone with another classic Tatis Special™, sauntering down the line before spinning his bat at a rate that would make pitchers around the league jealous. He’s here, he’s the best, and it seems difficult to remember a world where Fernando Tatis Jr. wasn’t the face of Major League Baseball. Give him the Swagg Chain.
7/29 — Brad Miller vs. Sam Clay
425 ft, 105.8 mph, 28° LA
The best part about baseball is how heroes (and bat flips!) can come from any spot in the lineup. Enter last month’s NL East battle between the Nationals and the Phillies. Leadoff man and shortstop Brad Miller, not without power with nine home runs in 2021, stepped to the plate with the bases juiced and one out in an unfavorable matchup with Washington reliever Sam Clay. In a 1-2 count he then crushed a low-and-in sinker 425 feet out to right-center, and smoked it to the point where the outfielders didn’t even move. It was a walk-off grand slam (the game was part two of a seven-inning doubleheader), and Miller flicked the bat down with gusto and a strong flex towards his home dugout. An electric bat drop befitting an electric moment.
Alright, now it’s your turn! It’s time to vote on the Best Bat Flip of July!
Photos by Dustin Bradford and Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)