Last week was quite possibly the single best week of regular season bat flips that we’ve seen since the Best Best Bat Flips series started, and that’s not just me drumming up hype. If anything, that may have be something of an understatement, in the wake of a week that saw everything from javelin tosses to high-arcing floaters. So many of these may end up contending for the best flip of the year when all is said and done, so trust me on this one and enjoy the fireworks.
Presenting the Best Bat Flips of Week Eight!
5/26/2021 — SF @ ARI
460ft, 109.1 mph, 31°LA
Austin Slater came up huge under the bright lights of Chase Field last Wednesday, when he went back-to-back with Jason Vosler to put the Giants out in front of the D-Backs for good in the top of the eighth inning. He starts us off with a clean, textbook bat flip out of his backswing to put a damper on the home crowd.
5/24/2021 — TBR @ TOR
457ft, 107.9 mph, 30° LA
Teoscar Hernández ripped an inside slider at the knees for a missile of a home run against “The Fratty Pirate,” Ryan Yarbrough, last week. It didn’t even cause the left fielder to flinch as it left the park. Like Slater, he followed it up with a crisp and fluid flip, one that might crack the top three if this were any other week of the year. But no, we’re just getting started.
5/27/2021 — SF @ LAD
420ft, 108.6 mph, 32° LA
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.
Defection Retaliation: 9
5/27/2021 — SD @ MIL
427ft, 108.4 mph, 35° LA
Willy Adames enjoyed his first big moment as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers following his trade last week, and did so with an exclamation point when he speared his bat away in celebration of his feat. After thoroughly stunting on San Diego’s Craig Stammen, he was embraced by his new teammates at home plate. Hopefully, it’s the first of many for the still-young shortstop.
5/24/2021 — TBR @ TOR
384ft, 101.3 mph, 32° LA
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.
Steps before remembering he was still holding the bat: 13
4. DJ Stewart vs. Jorge Alcalá
5/24/2021 — BAL @ MIN
411ft, 104.3 mph, 32° LA
Representing the Orioles this week (a vastly underrated bat flipping team) is none other than DJ Stewart, who 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 downer here was the lack of quality camera angles on the bat flip, leaving its majesty largely to the imagination.
Rain Delay: Unfazed
5/21/2021 — HOU @ TEX
388ft, 104.3 mph, 31° LA
I don’t even care anymore, Adolis García is one of the best stories to emerge from this season, and I’m going to do all I can to make sure the world knows it. He’s 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.
… and then, who else could it be but:
2. Fernando Tatís Jr. vs. Chris Flexen
5/21/2021 — SEA @ SD
393ft, 105.8 mph, 30° LA
Fernando Tatís Jr. has to be in the running for the coolest person in the world. By my calculations, it’s got to be him, artist Anderson .Paak, NBA player Damian Lillard, and that guy who caught a foul ball in his beer while holding his child in his other arm, in some order. Regardless, he maintains his spot as the best bat flipper in baseball with this unhinged flip against the Mariners last week. Then, he caps it off with a knowing little wink and smile at the dugout camera. Talk about Flexen on Chris. ducks
The Camera: Eating it up
1. Fernando Tatís Jr. vs. Robert Dugger
5/23/2021 — SEA @ SD
447ft, 111.8 mph, 27º LA
It truly feels impossible to determine which of these two bat flips is best. After watching them beyond the point of eye strain, I still can’t tell which one I like more. The first one rotates a smidge more than this one against Robert Dugger, but this flip also has an element of disgust to it that I can’t quite shake. Just look at the mirrored shades and tell me you didn’t just get chills down your spine. Colder than a blizzard on Hoth.
Forgetting to wear his jersey: 8
Now, I have to be honest with you all, I think it’s all downhill from here. We’ve peaked. But who knows! We also thought that Joe Musgrove’s no-hitter was a one-off thing, so maybe this is just the tip of the iceberg for bat flips this year. There’s only one way to find out, and that’s keeping it locked to Pitcher List and the Best Bat Flips of the Week every Friday for more. Oh, and don’t forget to vote on the very best celebration of May this upcoming Tuesday! It’s your opportunity to tell me what I got wrong and to help us narrow it down to the single best bat flip of the year, so keep your eyes open for it early next week. Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to be excellent to one another.
Photo by Dustin Ian D’Andrea/Flickr | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)