The 10 Most Extraordinary Indians Home Runs: First Half Edition

By: August Fagerstrom / @AugustF_MLB

The All-Star Break is here, and that means no meaningful Indians baseball for the next four days. Since nothing is happening in the present, let’s enjoy the past! With the Home Run Derby happening tonight, I figured it was a good time to revive a series I did a couple of times over at FanGraphs, looking at the most unique home runs of the season. Rather than looking at the whole league, though, let’s look just at the Indians. The data used in this post comes from HitTrackerOnline and BaseballSavant.

Fast, slow, high and low, these are The 10 Most Extraordinary Indians Home Runs of the first half.

* * *


Batter: Carlos Santana

Pitcher: Phil Klein

Date: 5/25


We’ll go ahead and get a Santana dinger out of the way because there’s going to be a few of them. Santana hit 10 homers in the first half and it turns out pretty much all of them were extraordinary in one way or another. At 441 feet, this is the farthest a ball has traveled off an Indians bat this season and the fourth-deepest homer of Santana’s career. Ball went and got itself some Barrio.


Batter: Roberto Perez

Pitcher: Phil Klein

Date: 5/25


It’s our friend Phil Klein again! Hi, Phil! Phil had himself a rough day at the ballpark. Sorry, Phil. Phil already served up the longest home run of the season to Carlos Santana an inning prior, and then Roberto Perez got him for the luckiest homer of the year the next. In the previous FanGraphs iterations of this post, I had a category for “most wind-aided home run.” This clip serves as both. Notice the flags in center field — the wind was blowing out to right field this day. Under standard conditions, Perez’s shot would have traveled approximately 342 feet and left zero Major League ballparks. On this day, though, the wind gave Perez’s ball an extra 22 feet of carry, just enough to make Shin-Soo Choo run into his old home fence.


Batter: Lonnie Chisenhall

Pitcher: Kelvin Herrera

Date: 5/5


Here’s a clip of Lonnie Chisenhall doing something extraordinary in the year 2015. Kelvin Herrera was the pitcher, and Kelvin Herrera throws hard, in part explaining the 112mph exit velocity off Chisenhall’s bat. Though the exit velocity is exceptional in itself, this home run would have been noteworthy regardless of how hard it was hit, because Herrera hadn’t given up a homer all year. No, wait, that’s not it. Because Herrera hadn’t given up a homer all of last year either. Chisenhall’s homer broke a Royals franchise record 105 1/3 inning homerless streak that dated back to July 2013. Herrera gave up another home run later that month, and is currently 20 innings into his next streak.

Highest pitch

Batter: Carlos Santana

Pitcher: Justin Verlander

Date: 6/13


Advertising worked. See that Jimmy John’s sign, right above where Santana’s home run landed? Yeah, that did it’s job. I’m currently eating a No. 10 with a side of BBQ Jimmy Chips because of that sign. And, no, I know what you’re wondering — I totally didn’t get one of those massive triple chocolate chunk cookies as well. Yeah, definitely not gonna scarf that down and make myself feel sick as soon as I finish this sandwich.

Oh, the home run? Yeah, geez, that sure was a high pitch. Thirteen inches above the center of the strike zone. Santana can get up and hit the high one.

Lowest pitch

Batter: Carlos Santana

Pitcher: Darren O’Day

Date: 6/26


Apparently Santana can go get the low one, too. Batters swinging at pitches like this is a reason why Darren O’Day is so good. Carlos Santana being able to hit pitches like this for home runs is a reason why, throughout his career, he’s been so good. If you follow me on Twitter, you might already know some fun facts about this dinger. Among other things, it’s the lowest pitch hit for a homer by an Indians player in the PITCHf/x era (2008-present) and one of the lowest fastballs hit out by any player in that same time.

Highest apex

Batter: Brandon Moss

Pitcher: Al Alburquerque

Date: 4/24


No, I didn’t order another Jimmy John’s sandwich. That would be ridiculous. I did just eat that cookie, though, and damn it was good. This ball reached an apex of 138 feet above field level at its peak.

Lowest apex

Batter: Michael Brantley

Pitcher: Mark Buehrle

Date: 5/1


I’d like to call something to your attention. It isn’t the home run. It’s that guy. Right there. You probably already noticed him. I purposely extended the length of the .gif so you would. That bald man is very excited. His children are embarrassed. Two options for the reason behind his happy dance

The likely reason: “Hot dog! These seats offer me a splendid view of tonight’s ballgame! And at an affordable price, too! Roll Tribe!”

The less likely reason: “Gee whiz! Certainly that will end up as the lowest-apex home run hit by an Indians batter in the first half of this season! I love physics!”

Most inside pitch

Batter: Francisco Lindor

Pitcher: Brett Oberholtzer

Date: 6/24


Just like the scouts said: “can hit pitches 10 inches in from the middle of the strike zone for home runs as well as any shortstop prospect in baseball.” Just imagine if the defense ever comes along.

Most outside pitch

Batter: Carlos Santana

Pitcher: Colby Lewis

Date: 5/27


If I can, I’d like to submit this as “most impressive home run” as well. Sure, there’s some takeaways — the score of the game and also the Colby Lewis on the mound. But to take a pitch that low and away and drive it 421 feet to dead center field is impressive, regardless of circumstance. Though, perhaps not as impressive as the final homer on this list…

Most Gattis

Batter: GATTIS






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