Angle, speed and power combine to send Blue Jays slugger's blast into upper deck
By Paul Casella
Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion snapped a 10-game home run drought with a solo shot in the second inning of Tuesday's 13-6 victory over the Orioles, only to one-up himself four innings later. The Blue Jays slugger teed off for a mammoth leadoff shot in the sixth inning, doubling his previous 2015 home run total in one night.
Instead of simply marveling at the fact that Encarnacion's second homer landed in the upper deck, however, Statcast is able to provide a glimpse of what exactly made his blast so powerful.
For starters, the ball came off Encarnacion's bat at a wildly impressive speed of 110.7 mph. Making it all the more impressive is the fact that it came on an 83-mph changeup from O's reliever Brian Matusz.
To put that into perspective, teammate Josh Donaldson's walk-off home run from last Saturday -- which came on a similar 82-mph changeup -- came off the bat at only 103.7 mph. As if that wasn't enough, Encarnacion's pop even exceeded that of Jose Bautista's 104.5-mph exit velocity on his go-ahead home run from that same Saturday ballgame -- and that was on a 94.2-mph fastball.
With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that Statcast projects that Encarnacion's homer would have traveled 451.7 feet from the point of first contact to where it would have ultimately landed on the ground, had those pesky upper-deck seats not gotten in the way. That distance absolutely towers over the totals on the two aforementioned homers, as Donaldson's game-winner traveled just 382.4 feet and Bautista's checked in at 393.4 feet.
Expanding on that even further, though, Statcast also suggests that the jaw-dropping distance on Encarnacion's home run was not simply a result of how hard he struck the ball. After all, Tigers slugger Yoenis Cespedes recorded a sizzling 112.9-mph exit velocity on his Sunday grand slam against the White Sox, but even that ball traveled only 408.1 feet.
In other words, Encarnacion not only struck the ball incredibly hard on his second home run Tuesday, but he also launched it off his bat at an ideal angle, resulting in the 451.7-foot moonshot.
Though Encarnacion's two Tuesday homers may have counted the same on the scoreboard, the second one has the potential to be one of the longest that Statcast will track this season and beyond.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.