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Pirates of Pittsburgh rookie shortstop Oneil Cruz broke Statcast Wednesday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves.
The Pirates may have been crushed 14-2 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, but Cruz likely damaged the right field wall after hitting a single at 122.4 mph, the most hit ball Statcast has ever recorded.
The ball traveled an estimated 366 feet and would have been a home run in 26 out of 30 MLB stadiums..
The high right field wall in Pittsburgh didn’t allow Cruz to jog around the diamond, but one could imagine how far that ball could have gone if it had a better launch angle.
The previous record for the most hit balls went to another current slugger, Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stantonwho hit a ball 122.2 mph twice – one in October 2017, the other in August 2021.
StatCast is the analysis tool used by Major League Baseball.
Cruz, 23, quickly became a fixture with the Pirates after being called up in June. His numbers may not jump off the page — a .198/.249/.401 slash line with 10 home runs and 30 RBI over 51 games — but his potential has been shown with moonshine rounders and a cannon of an arm short that. exceeded 100 mph on throws to first base.
Cruz also stands at 6-foot-7, the same height as a Yankees slugger and current American League. MVP favorite Aaron Judge. There’s an argument to make Cruz’s athleticism, which includes incredible speed, rival Judge’s.
No wonder the Pirates are excited about what the future holds with this franchise cornerstone.