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The Best Bat Flips of May

Flex your right.

May came and went in a flash, didn’t it? I guess time flies when you’re sending balls (and bats) to the moon, because it’s already time for another community vote on the best bat flips of the last month! Once again, we’ll be calling upon you, the wonderful Pitcher List community, to help do my job and narrow down the single best celebration from the last few weeks, with the overall goal of crowning the best bat flip of the year at the end of the season.

For those of you that haven’t voted in one of our polls so far, the criteria are pretty simple and straightforward: Pick the home run celebration that you think was the most exciting (coolest, nastiest, etc.) and make your voice heard in the comments and on Twitter to help us pick the winner. It can be a drop, flip, or anything in between, as long as it leaves you with chills by the end of it. Now, enough stalling. Presenting the Best Bat Flips of May!

 

5/1 — Jurickson Profar vs. Camilo Doval

 

368ft, 98.1 mph, 31º launch angle

Profar kicked things off last month with this excellent flip after he doubled the Padres’ lead over San Francisco in the late innings against Camilo Doval. It’s not every day you see 99 mph diesel on the outside edge pulled for a home run, but Profar does just that, uncorking a moonshot into the right field bleachers.

 

5/4 — Jake Bauers vs. Tyler Zuber

 

424ft, 104.7 mph, 30° launch angle

Jake Bauers turned on and destroyed some 95 mph cheese from Tyler Zuber, insuring a two-run lead for Cleveland. With a jaunt in his step, he also unloaded a snappy bat flip out of the box, sending it tumbling end-over-end into the grass. It had all the confidence, swagger, and satisfaction of someone who guessed right on a fastball and sent it flying into the stands. Now that’s a real Bauers outage.

 

5/19 — Ronald Acuña Jr. vs. Jacob Barnes

 

(Statcast data not available)

Ronald Acuña Jr. put his arm in the rim for this iconic walk-off to end the night in Atlanta. After clobbering a cutter away that caught too much of the plate, Acuña immediately flung his bat above his head and into the air. That’s when he motioned to his teammates in a manner reminiscent of basketball legend Vince Carter’s celebration from the 2000 NBA Dunk Contest. It’s over.

 

5/21 — Adolis García vs. Bryan Abreu

 

388ft, 104.3 mph, 31° launch angle

Adolis García is the physical manifestation of pure hype, and he’s just dripping with it in this strut down the line. Look at it! It’s so beyond nasty. Then the flip! I’m running out of words to describe his nastiness, so I’ll just go with this: WOW. García has burst onto the scene in 2021, and already looks to be a challenger for Fernando Tatís Jr.’s bat flipping crown. We’ll see if he can keep it up as pitchers adjust to the young phenom.

 

5/21 — Fernando Tatís Jr. vs. Chris Flexen

 

393ft, 105.8 mph, 30° launch angle

Fernando Tatís Jr. had himself a scorching month of May, punctuated by a key pair of nearly identical (yet gorgeous) bat flips against Seattle. His first one marked his 50th career home run, and he paired it with a righteous flip, sending it tumbling through the air with reckless abandon. It was like fine art, if trouncing the Mariners could be considered art.

 

5/23 — Fernando Tatís Jr. vs. Robert Dugger

 

447ft, 111.8 mph, 27º launch angle

A couple of days later, Tatís Jr. went yard again, this time with the bases loaded and for his second long ball of the afternoon. Tatís was just too disgusted by his own skill, as he once again spun his bat away in victory. The largest difference between the two celebrations was the tone, as this flip carried all of the nastiness Tatís could seemingly muster as he strutted, stone-faced, down the line.

 

5/24 — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. vs. Ryan Thompson

 

384ft, 101.3 mph, 32° launch angle

Vladdy, Vladdy, Vladdy. Where do we even start? Guerrero Jr. has been an absolute BEAST this season, pacing MLB in home runs with 16 just a season after some were laughably calling him a bust. Perhaps the prospect billed as a generational hitting talent just needed some time to get acclimated in a non-shortened season? Whatever the reason, Guerrero Jr. has been rewarding those who placed their faith in him with an absolutely torrid start to 2021. Welcome to the light show, baby.

 

5/24 — DJ Stewart vs. Jorge Alcalá

 

411ft, 104.3 mph, 32° launch angle

Last week, DJ Stewart braved a 45-minute rain delay to go deep off of Minnesota’s Jorge Alcalá on the second pitch he saw. Stewart immediately recognized the opportunity to get his team back into the game following the delay, and rattled off this electric bat throw, sending it spiraling towards the visitors’ dugout. The only drawback here was the lack of quality camera angles on the bat flip, leaving its majesty largely to the imagination.

 

5/27 — Max Muncy vs. Alex Wood

 

420ft, 108.6 mph, 32° launch angle

Max Muncy actually changed things up Thursday night with a resounding toss of his lumber following a monster home run against his ex-teammate-turned-heel Alex Wood, breaking away from his signature thunderous bat drops. He gets some great height and a subtle flat spin on the stick, driving the point home that he’s currently one of the toughest at-bats in baseball. He absolutely refuses to ever chase, but when you throw it in the zone, he does that. It’s a regular pitching catch-22.

 

5/31 — Adalberto Mondesi vs. Duane Underwood Jr.

 

417ft, 109.8 mph, 33° launch angle 

Adalberto Mondesi came with a buzzer-beating entry on the last night of May, with this gargantuan blast off of Pittsburgh veteran Duane Underwood Jr. His big swing cashed in two runs, extending the Royals’ lead over the Pirates to 5-2 in the fifth inning. It was a huge swing for momentum, as now Kansas City could breathe a little easier with a three-run lead. Mondesi knew he got every stitch of the ball too, and skipped down the line, unfurling a frigid bat flip in his wake. It was a knockout punch in the middle innings, one that the Pirates could not overcome as they dropped the game 7-2.

 

It’s time to vote!

 

What was the Best Bat Flip of May?

Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Noah Scott

Noah Scott is a long-suffering baseball writer and knuckleball connoisseur. If you want to talk old timey baseball names, traffic on the 405, or lukewarm hip-hop opinions you can find him on Twitter @noahascott6

  • DB says:

    At the time when I voted, Adolis Garcia is leading, and while I love that one (and I roster him, Muncy AND Tatis,) I think maybe people are just getting desensitized to Tatis’ flip-art. I guess there’s something to be said for restraint and changing things up, but, to me, there’s just something about the tight windmilling of the first one of Tatis’… I’d I’m normally more of a straight mic-drop immediately after the follow through rather than an actual flip. There weren’t any to choose from though.

    • Noah Scott says:

      Yeah, there’s definitely some desensitization, especially with Tatís doing the same bat flip twice this week (and splitting the vote). I try to include some bat drops typically (as that’s also my preference), but this month there really weren’t many that were strong enough to contend with the absurd amount of great flips.

      • DB says:

        Totally fair, (especially since Aaron Hicks hit the IL after being terrible,) and there were a surplus of absolutely amazing shows of exuberance and twirly ones with exceptional loft this month.

  • DB says:

    Clint Frazier’s walk-off HR on 6/1 has that mic-drop flavor, even if there is a bit of rotation to it, lol.

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