Nelson Cruz and HR/LD%

Last Friday night, Nelson Cruz faced off against Felix Hernandez, and in the second inning this happened to a baseball:

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According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, the dinger had an apex of 41 feet. Apex is defined as “the highest point reached by the ball in flight above field level.” By the numbers, Cruz’s homer stands as the lowest homer of the 2014 season, that wasn’t of the inside-the-park variety. The last time there was a lower home run: June 25, 2011, when Carlos Peguero hit a homer with a 39-foot apex. Also, on May 16 of that same year, Peguero hit another homer with a 39-foot apex.

Technically, according to his FanGraphs player page, Cruz this year has 29 homers and 131 fly balls. Hence, he has a HR/FB of 22.1%. But some home runs are different from others, and this was an absolute, hands-down line drive. The difference that makes with regard to our understanding of Cruz, Hernandez, and the sport: not anything at all. But, holy crap, Nelson Cruz.

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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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