Going into the start of the 2023 season, baseball’s new rule changes earned significant media coverage and had the full attention of the baseball community. In the end, the newly implemented rules turned out to have a positive effect on both average game length (lowering the average game time to 2:40, down 24 minutes from 2022) and game attendance, as total attendance broke 70 million for the first time since the 2017 season.
Something that didn’t change was the ability of the long ball to inject instant excitement into the game.
Major League Baseball’s 30 teams hit a grand total of 5,978 home runs this season and we are going to be counting down the 10 best ones here.
10. LaMonte Wade Jr.
Distance: 385 feet
Exit Velocity: 106.6 mph
A home run unique to the San Francisco Giants franchise leads off our list.
When LaMonte Wade Jr. went deep for his eighth home run of the season, it was the 100th splash hit in San Francisco Giants history. Barry Bonds made a regular habit of hitting home runs into McCovey Cove and still has more than a third of them, more than 15 years after retiring. With his home run on June 2nd, Wade now has five in his career.
Despite only traveling 385 feet, Wade’s home run makes the list due to its historical impact. And in case you are wondering, the 100th splash hit was retrieved by the McCovey Cove kayaker who goes by “Mark the Shark.”
9. Juan Soto
Distance: 463 ft
Exit Velocity: 111.8 mph
Let’s throw the Padres fans a bone after a disappointing season and include their team’s longest home run of the season, hit by Juan Soto. Soto had a monster day on July 21 against the Tigers hitting two home runs, each more than 440 feet.
The second of the two home runs was crushed to center field at Comerica Park, careening off the shrubbery for a distance of 463 feet.
8. Kyle Schwarber
Distance: 483 ft
Exit Velocity: 113 mph
Prior to another playoff hot streak that placed him among the all-time best postseason hitters, Kyle Schwarber ripped an absolute Schwarbomb 483 feet to right field at Truist Park. He crushed the ball nearly out of the stadium to the amazement of the announcers.
Former Phillies great Ryan Howard witnessed the shot and even he was impressed!
7. Nolan Jones
Distance: 483 feet
Exit Velocity: 114.2 mph
Nolan Jones figured things out in his second MLB season, which was his first with the Rockies. He ended the season with a slash line of .297/.389/.542 and also became a member of the 20/20 club, adding 62 RBI.
Similar to Schwarber’s home run, Jones’ farthest home run of the 2023 season also went 483 feet, but we’re going to give him the edge as it was hit slightly harder.
This home run also gets bonus points for being hit by Jones while he was wearing Colorado’s excellent City Connect jerseys.
6. Giancarlo Stanton
Distance: 485 feet
Exit Velocity: 117.8 mph
The 6’6” 245-lb Stanton is no stranger to any list of best home runs, having launched five of the 10 hardest-hit home runs in Statcast history. In the third game of the 2023 season, Stanton launched a nearly 500-foot shot to center field at Yankee Stadium.
Notice how Stanton switches his bat to his right hand as he strolls to first base, then peeks one more glance at his epic two-run home run. Just another day at the office.
5. Elly De La Cruz
Distance: 458 feet
Exit Velocity: 114.8 mph
The rookie sensation burst onto the scene with a 458-foot bomb during his second career big league game. He actually did hit a longer home run later in the season but on pure entertainment value, this is his top home run of the year.
From the ball almost completely leaving the stadium, to the epic home run call, to the two Reds fans so amped that they shoved one another, this home run cemented De La Cruz’s arrival as one of baseball’s most exciting young players.
4. Ronald Acuña Jr.
Distance: 454 ft
Exit Velocity: 121.2 mph
Acuna had a masterful season that had never been witnessed before. The unanimous National League MVP became the first member of the 40/70 club, finishing 2023 with 41 home runs and 73 steals. He slashed an absurd .337/.416/.596 and led the majors with 149 runs, 217 hits, and 383 total bases.
He can also add the hardest-hit ball of the 2023 season to these accolades. On September 2nd, Acuna hit his 32nd home run of the year off Emmet Sheehan, a laser blast that maxed out at an exit velocity of 121.2 MPH on its way to a 454-foot journey into center field at Dodger Stadium.
Along with the typical look of disgust on a pitcher’s face after allowing a home run, there is also some awe on Sheehan’s face as he turns to watch it exit.
3. Gabriel Moreno
Distance: 420 ft
Exit Velocity: 108.9 mph
Gabriel Moreno would finish the 2023 postseason with four home runs and 12 RBI. The young catcher played like a veteran in his postseason debut, helping the Diamondbacks reach the World Series.
His personal highlight came in Game 3 of the NLDS. It appeared Moreno had extended the Diamondbacks’ lead to 4-0 over the Dodgers with a shot down the right-field line. However, upon further review, the home run was reversed after the ball went foul.
Typically, there would be a letdown from the hitter after this scenario, and they would either quietly ground out or fly out. But Arizona’s young catcher was undeterred. He lifted the very next pitch, an 82 MPH slider from Lance Lynn, into left-center field for a 420-foot blast. There was no doubt about the second one.
2. Shohei Ohtani
Distance: 493 feet
Exit Velocity: 115.1 mph
It’s fitting that the longest home run of the 2023 season belongs to the best player from the 2023 season, the other unanimous MVP, Shohei Ohtani.
Ohtani was on a historic pace when he hit the 30-home run mark in just the Angels’ 84th game of the season. He capped off the month of June with his longest home run ever, a 493-foot moon shot off Tommy Henry.
It’s hard to even tell where the ball lands as the camera seems to lose it, but the announcers indicate it hit the strikeout meter in the second deck of right field.
We need to appreciate what we are seeing when we watch Ohtani – he may be the most uniquely talented player in baseball history.
1. Adolis García
Distance: 373 feet
Exit Velocity: 106.4 mph
World Series walk-off home runs tend to rise to the top of best home runs lists.
When Paul Sewald took the mound with a 5-3 lead in the opening game of the World Series, it looked like the resilient Snakes Alive underdogs would once again be playing the part of playoff spoiler. With the Diamondbacks two outs away from victory, Corey Seager homered to send the game to extra innings. You could argue that Seager’s home run deserves inclusion on this list as well, but two innings later, Adolis García hit an even more momentous home run.
Garcia continued his scorching hot playoff run with a 373-foot walk-off in the bottom of the 11th inning that delivered the Rangers to victory and helped propel them to a World Series title. It ends up number one on our list due to its clutch nature.
Graphic adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on X)