The 2019 season saw more home runs hit than ever before, 11 percent more than any other season in major league history. With a year so prolific for long balls, there were definitely a few that were shocking.
“it’s just really interesting how many balls are going out and how easily they’re going out,” Orioles reliever Mychal Givens told the Washington Post in April.
If only Givens knew some of the swings that would produce home runs later in the season. Here are eight swings that somehow, some way ended up in a homer in 2019, presented in no particular order.
1) Jay Bruce, April 1 vs. Angels
Hansel Robles thought so little of this drive, he immediately pointed to the sky, indicating a catchable pop fly. Nope.
2) Bryce Harper, May 29 vs. Cardinals
Continuing the trend of “Oh darn, I popped out. WAIT, THAT’S A HOME RUN.”
3) A.J. Pollock, July 13 at Boston
This home run was pulled to left field.
4) Jorge Soler, Aug. 11 at Tigers
It’s easier to Royals franchise record for home runs when an off-balance swing like this can lead to a pulled home run.
5) Teoscar Hernandez, June 16 vs. Astros
We go to Houston, where the Blue Jays infielder went down and got this low pitch, and somehow sent this out to right field. The expected slugging percentage on this batted ball, per Statcast, was .107. That’s the expected slugging percentage.
6) Todd Frazier, June 6 vs. Giants
Down goes Frazier! To one knee to hit this go-ahead home run in the eighth inning.
“It looked like a routine fly to the gap,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said. “I guess we should get used to this.”
7) Todd Frazier, June 22 vs. Twins
He thought he popped out, and threw his bat in disgust. But nope, it was another home run for Frazier.
8) Joc Pederson, Sept. 24 at Padres
We have a late entry! Another late example of a hitter utterly frustrated with what he thought was a fly out, but Joc Pederson soon learned that this ball went over the left field wall at Petco Park. A true 2019 special.