Out in a flash: Stanton hits laser shot to left

Homer's exit velocity of 118.5 mph the fastest of any HR tracked by Statcast this year

Out in a flash: Stanton hits laser shot to left

PHILADELPHIA -- Dave Van Horne has seen every one of the 158 home runs Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has hit in his big league career.

"I don't know if I've ever seen one that got out as quick as that one," the team's Hall of Fame radio announcer said of Stanton's two-run drive in the sixth inning of Miami's 9-1 romp at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday afternoon. "It was in the blink of an eye. Those big, high flies he hits are fun to watch, because they're up there so long. This was a blistering shot. I hardly had time to react."

Stanton's homer to left field off Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus, low and hot into a stiff breeze, traveled an estimated 366 feet. But Statcast tracked its exit velocity at 118.5 mph, which makes it the fastest exit velocity on any home run that Statcast has tracked this year. Also, the ball was never more than 35 feet off the ground.

Nelson Cruz's walk-off single for Seattle on Sunday was tracked at 119 mph, which is the fastest exit velocity on any ball that has been tracked by Statcast.

While Stanton's homer wasn't the most crucial hit Thursday -- the Marlins were already up by six at the time -- it was hit so hard and disappeared over the fence so fast that it remained a topic of awe and wonderment in the clubhouse afterward.

"It looked like he hit it with a 2-iron," noted winning pitcher David Phelps.

The ball hit a step in the left-field seats and caromed high into the air. What made it all the more impressive was that the ball was hit into a wind that helped keep everything else that was hit to left in the park. In the ninth, Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf crushed a long fly that appeared destined for the seats, but instead fell in front of left fielder Ichiro Suzuki for a double.

"He might be the only guy who could hit it out to left today," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of Stanton. "That was quick. He smoked that ball."

Stanton, still just 25 years old, enjoys hitting in Philadelphia. He hit a monstrous home run into the upper bullpen in right-center on Tuesday. In Stanton's last 15 games at Citizens Bank Park, he's batting .357 (18-for-52) with two doubles, six homers and a .712 slugging percentage.

"Dimensions and good backdrop," Stanton replied when asked why he thinks he's had so much success in this park.

Hitting the ball on a relatively flat trajectory helped keep the wind from knocking the ball down, but Stanton said he wasn't consciously trying to do that.

"They are throwing hard enough, doing their thing, that you can't worry about the elements," he said. "Get it in between the lines is what I was trying to do, man."

There's no way of reliably knowing, of course, whether Stanton has ever hit as he did Thursday. He recalled one home run in Washington that might have been comparable. But it's hard to imagine that Stanton could have hit one much harder.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.