Another regular season is done throughout Major League Baseball, and my goodness were there some moonshots. As you’ll see below, there were four different homers that traveled at least 490 feet, with one particular venue hogging most of the fun. Let’s revisit some of the longest home runs of 2022.
Longest Home Runs 2022: The Top 5
C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies: 504 feet
Has this C.J. Cron tank actually landed yet? We can’t possibly be sure, but we’ll assume it has. The one thing we can be sure of, though, is it went as high as it did far. This moonshot doesn’t just earn the honors of being the longest home run of the 2022 season. It’s also the second-longest home run of the Statcast era, which dates back to 2015.
Cron has quietly had consecutive seasons of solid offensive production with the Rockies. He’s compiled just 3.6 fWAR since the start of 2021, but it’s also included two straight years of at least 25 homers and 90 RBI. The 2022 season is notable because it’s the first time the right-handed hitter surpassed the 100-RBI plateau.
Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers, 499 feet
You know you’ve hit a no-doubter when the camera immediately loses the trajectory of the ball you just clobbered. Christian Yelich knows all about that.
It’s interesting because I don’t remember seeing a left-handed hitter slug a baseball to this part of Coors Field before 2022. As we’ll see with the two people immediately below Yelich, this was one of three homers to visit that general area in the Mile High City.
After consecutive seasons of at least 7.0 fWAR for the Brewers in 2018 and 2019 that included 80 total home runs, Yelich has dealt with a rough patch in his overall production. In 329 games played since the start of 2020, the outfielder has produced just 4.5 fWAR and 35 home runs. Those two MVP-caliber campaigns each included a wRC+ greater than 160. Since then, he’s failed to post one better than 114.
One of the potential issues would be a rise in ground-ball rate. This was a problem in Miami with the Marlins, but he eventually get that number down to 43.2% in 2019 with Milwaukee. Since then, it’s gone from 50.8% in 2020 to 54.4% in 2021 to 58.6% in 2022.
Jesus Sanchez, Miami Marlins: 496 feet
When discussing the four homers of 490-plus feet at Coors Field this year, the one slugged by Jesus Sanchez was the first. What I love the most is the swing he put on this ball. Sanchez nearly flew out of his shoes while getting the barrel through the hitting zone. Once he made contact, he appeared close to losing his balance on that back swing.
Thankfully, he recovered to admire the absolute moonshot he launched.
Sanchez’s MLB career has gone through a bit of a roller coaster. In 29 plate appearances during 2020, he posted a -18 wRC+ and -0.4 fWAR. He took a step forward in 2021 by lifting those numbers up to 114 and 1.0, respectively, in 251 trips to the plate. Through 93 games in 2022, though, Sanchez slashed .205/.271/.387 with 12 homers and 33 RBI. That resulted in a 86 wRC+ and 0.5 fWAR.
Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies: 495 feet
You never see baseballs go where this ball went. ????
(MLBStats x @GoogleCloud) pic.twitter.com/jSC1ypPu1O
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 10, 2022
The Statcast numbers on this Ryan McMahon tank say it all. Nearly 500 feet in distance with a 110.4 mph exit velocity? The launch angle looked so pretty that I had to look it up — this one had a trajectory of 33 degrees.
McMahon has put together his second consecutive year with at least 2.0 fWAR for the Rockies, and his 2022 number settled in at a career-high mark of 3.0. His offense has taken a jump when looking at his numbers from 2017-20 and 2021-22, but it’s still below the league average. Within that first period, his highest wRC+ was 89. He’s produced consecutive seasons with at least a 90 wRC+, but the left-handed hitter has yet to crack 100.
His value has come in the field thanks to his defensive skills. He’s spent the majority of his time over the last two years at third base, where McMahon has accumulated 24 total Defensive Runs Saved.
C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies: 486 feet
As we can see from the above video, this was Cron’s second homer of the game, and it went to a similar place as his 504-foot blast. Interestingly enough, the two dingers he hit in this contest accounted for half of the homers he clubbed throughout the entire month of June.
Cron finished the month with four homers and 19 RBI while slashing .271/.333/.458. This was just part of a downward trend when looking at his monthly wRC+ numbers. After posting a 148 mark in April, it went down to 138 in May, then 106 in June, 86 in July, 66 in August, and 63 in September/October.
Also, for those keeping track… yes, each of the five longest home runs of 2022 all came at Coors Field. Three came from left-handed hitters and two came for the same right-handed hitter. It’s almost like that place is a special venue for offense.
Longest Home Runs 2022: The Rest
Gary Sanchez, Minnesota Twins: 473 feet
Everybody likes a good revenge game, right? I’m sure Gary Sanchez got a little extra jacked up each time his Twins faced the Yankees this year. That’s likely especially the case when Minnesota traveled to the Bronx to visit Yankee Stadium.
All those potential feelings he may have had didn’t lead to much production, though. This dinger was the first hit he registered against his former club in 12 plate appearances. Sanchez ended up collecting four more hits against Yankee pitching, which led to a .636 OPS in 22 plate appearances.
Overall, his first year as a Twin didn’t go terrific. Sanchez did post 1.3 fWAR, but it was accompanied by a .205/.282/.377 line, 16 homers, 61 RBI, and an 89 wRC+.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: 472 feet
We’ve said this millions of times already, but we’ll say it again. Is there anything Mike Trout can’t do? It certainly doesn’t seem that way. What I love most about this particular bomb was that unlike many hitters here, he didn’t pull it. Trout went dead central, showing his true power.
The Angels’ outfielder was limited to 119 games this year because of injury. That didn’t stop him from posting some ridiculous numbers, though. He notched his seventh year of 30-plus homers (and third of 40-plus) while accumulating 6.0 fWAR and a 176 wRC+.
When looking at Trout’s monthly production, the majority of his dingers came in two separate months. He logged double-digit dingers in both June (10) and September/October (12).
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros: 469 feet
While there’s no way he would’ve caught Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez began the 2022 season with some MVP rumbles. That was mostly thanks to a ridiculous month of May. He collected nine homers and 28 RBI while slashing .418/.510/.835 to go along with a 273 wRC+. Alvarez followed that up with a 208 wRC+ in June before dealing with injuries.
Now that we’ve reached the end of the regular season, he’s found a way to finish strong. Over his final 109 trips to the plate, Alvarez slashed .355/.440/.677 with six homers and 17 RBI.
As for the above home run, it was one of six that traveled at least 440 feet off his bat in 2022. This one in particular happened on May 30th. He added another dinger of 460-plus feet (464, to be exact) on September 16th against Adrian Martinez of the Oakland Athletics.
Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins: 469 feet
“If Byron Buxton could stay healthy for a full season…” is a phrase many people have uttered over the past few years. And it’s because of homers like this one. With the game on the line, Buxton not only won the game for Minnesota, but he did it with an exclamation point.
Buxton hasn’t played in more than 100 games since 2017. He did appear in 92 this season, though, which was his most between now and that last occurrence. The outfielder had himself an interesting year. In just 382 plate appearances, he slugged 28 home runs with 51 RBI, 61 runs scored, a 136 wRC+, and a 4.0 fWAR. This was also accompanied by a 30.4% strikeout rate and a .226 batting average.
We all know batting average isn’t a good indicator of offensive production anymore (that 136 wRC+ says plenty). But still, it’s interesting to see that number drop so much from the .306 mark he produced in 254 plate appearance the year prior.
Brandon Drury, San Diego Padres: 468 feet
¡Brandon Drury agregó otro jonrón a su cuenta personal de esta noche!
— Padres de San Diego (@LosPadres) September 17, 2022
To say that 2022 has been a banner year for Brandon Drury is a gross understatement. Heading into the year, Drury had slugged 51 homers through 1,708 career plate appearances. In 568 plate appearances this year, he slugged 28. A huge first half for the Cincinnati Reds was a catalyst to him getting traded to a contender like the San Diego Padres.
His short stint with the Padres wasn’t as productive compared to what he did in Cincy, but Drury was still a net positive for San Diego’s lineup (105 wRC+, .724 OPS, 0.4 fWAR). The above homer he slugged off Madison Bumgarner was one of two he hit off the southpaw on this particular night.
A big part of Drury’s big year was a shift in his batted-ball profile. His 17.2% soft-hit rate and 35.1% hard-hit rate are each among the best we’ve seen from him in a few years. This was accompanied by a 40.9% ground-ball rate and 39.4% fly-ball rate. Both of those numbers are comfortably below his career norms (45.6% and 33.1%, respectively).
Jorge Soler, Miami Marlins: 468 feet
The Marlins signed Jorge Soler following his huge 2021 World Series MVP performance to be one of Miami’s major power threats. It’s hard to bring the power when you’re not in the lineup, though. Soler last appeared in a game on July 22nd.
His overall numbers look similar to each of the last couple of seasons, too. The above homer was an absolute moonshot, but homers in general didn’t happen a whole ton. The outfielder slashed .207/.295/.400 with 13 home runs and 34 RBI. He produced 0.5 fWAR and a 98 wRC+ in the process.
The month of May was the best of his abbreviated season. After posting a 70 wRC+ in April, Soler upped that to 161 in May thanks to a .253/.330/.609 line with nine home runs and 19 RBI.
His 468-foot tank happened on April 29th against the Mariners. So, it’s probable that this moonshot helped spark his huge May. I’ll always enjoy watching how much Soler likes to admire his work, too.
Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies: 468 feet
It hasn’t taken Kyle Schwarber very long to make his mark on the Phillies’ home run record books. His 46 in 2022 rank sixth on Philly’s single-season home run leaderboard. He also doesn’t register many cheap home runs. It’s only fitting that we finish this list with yet another Coors Field bomb after the first five all happened in Denver, right? Right. He can hit tanks in any stadium, though — not just Coors.
This dinger came off German Marquez on April 20th. Schwarber added two more homers that traveled 450-plus feet this season. One was 467 feet on September 10th and the other was a 451-foot dinger on August 25th.
Even with a .218 batting average, Schwarber posted a 128 wRC+. He also registered his fourth year of at least 2.0 fWAR since 2018 while also setting single-season career-high marks for homers (46), runs scored (100), and RBI (94).