Welcome back! Baseball’s second week was packed with monster home runs and brain-melting bat flips as everyone from Mike Trout to Chadwick Tromp was mashing the ball out of the park. It was a definitely a week to remember, and featured three of the spiciest home run celebrations in recent memory (more on those later). So take a load off, and enjoy the Top 10 Bat Flips of the Week. And don’t forget to sound off in the comments or on Twitter with your favorites or if there’s any you think I missed! But enough from me, let’s get to the good stuff.
8/5 – LAD @ SD
435ft, 107.7 mph, 23° launch angle
Joc rocked the block Wednesday night as he socked a pair of long home runs off of San Diego pitching. His second drive of the evening came at the expense of vaunted rookie pitcher Luis Patiño, as he took 97 mph gas straight out to center field for a three-run blast before coolly letting his bat fall from his hands as he strutted to first. Welcome to the big leagues, kid.
7/30 – BOS @ NYM
411ft, 101.4 mph, 27° launch angle
Christian Vázquez was locked in on Thursday night, cracking a pair of home runs in a 4-2 win over the Mets. The catcher made an absolute meal out of New York southpaw Steven Matz, and cleansed his palette with a gnarly bat toss. He looked almost disgusted with his own power, casting off his bat like a fired shell.
Creepy Digital Fans: Into It!
8/5 – NYY @ PHI
420ft, 108.4 mph, 28° launch angle
Check out Luke Voit just unloading on an Aaron Nola curveball that caught a little too much of the zone in the 2nd inning of the back half of Wednesday’s doubleheader. He didn’t miss a single stitch on that ball as he boomed it out of the yard to open the scoring for the Yanks, and casually flipped his back forward like it ain’t no thang. Just look at that gorgeous rotation he gets on it almost immediately after the ball leaves his bat for space. And the little hop step to watch it fly? Mmmm. Chef’s kiss.
Rotation: 90° forward
Raw Sauce: 9
7. Nicholas Castellanos vs. Shane Bieber
8/4 – CLE @ CIN
409ft, 105.5 mph, 29° launch angle
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Dingers, apparently. Nicholas Castellanos has been doing his best Aaron Judge impression over the last two weeks, clobbering a league-leading six dingers (tied with Judge) in just 11 games. Tuesday night, Castellanos found himself facing off against Cy Young frontrunner Shane Bieber, who had looked untouchable until Castellanos touched him up for a solo shot in his first at-bat Tuesday. It wasn’t a wall scraper either. Castellanos got all of Bieber’s 0-1 fastball, a no-doubter that screamed off of the bat at 105.5 mph. He reveled in getting the best of the scorching hot pitcher, sending his bat tumbling down the first base line. Celebrate that one Nick, because something tells me those results off of Bieber are going to be few and far between this year.
Ripping a bomb off of Ajeto’s Golden Boy: 10
8/4 – KC @ CHC
422ft, 105.5 mph, 24° launch angle
Willson Contreras was amped up after taking Royals flamethrower Trevor Rosenthal deep to put the Cubs up 5-2 against the Royals Tuesday night. He guessed correctly on a two-strike offspeed pitch and promptly deposited it deep beyond the ivy in left field before launching his bat sky high, much to the delight of his fans in the home dugout. He must have had an inkling that his bomb was an important one, as his insurance run here ended up being the deciding factor in the contest. Just watch that baby fly.
7/31 – SD @ COL
389ft, 99 mph, 34° launch angle
Trevor Story flat out bullied Padres pitchers in their series this week, clobbering two monster home runs in back-to-back games. His first victim, reliever Matt Strahm, missed his spot with a slider and was punished with to the tune of 389 feet. After skipping down the line to admire his Good Piece of Hitting™, Story gave Strahm a flip to remember, twirling his bat on his way to rounding the bases.
Socially Distant High Five: Appreciated
7/31 – BOS @ NYY
410ft, 102.7 mph, 36° launch angle
I’m a sucker for a good bat drop, and Michael Chavis dropped his bat with authority after clocking a Jordan Montgomery fastball into the cheap seats (for Yankee Stadium anyway) Friday night. To his credit, Montgomery didn’t actually miss his spot here, but a 91 mph cookie on the inside part of the plate was still too delicious of a pitch for Chavis to pass up. Seeya.
Pitch Calling: -10
8/5 – LAD @ SD
430ft, 112.1 mph, 34° launch angle
Phew. What. A. Bomb. Fernando Tatís Jr. almost scraped the Moon with this swing off of Ross Stripling, providing almost all of the power with a 112.1 exit velocity off the bat. If potentially altering the Earth’s tides wasn’t enough, the San Diego phenom unleashed a devastating bat flip and thousand-yard stare into his own dugout. That’s the strut of a baaaaad dude, and he knows it. This Tatís kid is going to be a problem in the NL West for years to come.
8/1 – SD @ COL
434ft, 106.9mph, 25° launch angle
Come close and gather round the fire for Storytime, as this week the shortstop became the first player to make the Best Bat Flips list twice in the same week. His reign of terror over National League pitching continued Saturday as he launched a 434-foot nuke off of San Diego’s Cal Quantrill to tack on the fifth run in a 6-1 Rockies win. As an epilogue, Story flung away his bat in pure, unmitigated disgust before taking his victory lap around the bases. A horror Story for San Diego, to be sure.
Rotation: Not sure I blacked out when I saw it
8/4 – TEX @ OAK
414ft, 103.3 mph. 32° launch angle
Jesse Chavez wasted no time serving up a walk-off grand slam to Stephen Piscotty on his first pitch out of the bullpen in the bottom of the 9th Tuesday night. The walk-off slam was already the SECOND of the young season for Oakland, after A’s superstar Matt Olson called game in the home opener last week. Piscotty beamed (couldn’t resist, not apologizing) this low change-up deep into center field, and immediately cast away his lumber like a bad habit before sending the Rangers to the showers. He couldn’t have looked better doing it either, in those sweet, sweet kelly green jerseys. Deciding the top three was difficult this week, but I had to give it to Oakland. However, all three are early contenders for Bat Flip of the Year, the most prestigious award in all of baseball.
Rotation: A rare horizontal 180°
The Rest of the League: Kelly Green with Envy
What were your favorite bat flips of the week? Have any issues with my rankings? (doubtful) Any that you think I missed? Sound off in the comments below, or on Twitter.
Until next week!
Photo Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter & IG)