After counting down the longest home runs of the 2019 season over the last three months we’ve finally arrived at the top spot on the list. And if we all made bets of who would top the list when spring training began in February of 2019 there wouldn’t have been a single bet on who would be sitting at #1. The player who topped the list wasn’t even invited to big league camp with the Cincinnati Reds despite crushing the ball in the second half in Triple-A for Louisville to end 2018.
On July 24th of 2019 Josh VanMeter had a big game in Milwaukee. The infielder came up a triple shy of the cycle on the day, going 3-4 with his 2nd home run of the year, and his career. Jhoulys Chacin tried to get a 92 MPH fastball by VanMeter and he failed miserably in doing so as the third baseman for the day nearly hit the ball to Canada.
The Metrics Behind The Blast
Jhoulys Chacin’s fastball came in at 91.7 MPH. Josh VanMeter destroyed it and sent it on it’s way to the back of the stadium in Milwaukee at 106.9 MPH. It went a projected 463 feet.
Reds Rank: 1st
Major League Baseball Rank: 54th
Exit Velocity: 106.9 MPH
Reds Exit Velocity Rank (on home runs): 32nd
The Story Behind The Blast
The Reds were already holding a lead, up 3-2 on the Brewers in the top of the 3rd inning. Leading off the inning, Josh VanMeter was in a 2-2 count against Jhoulys Chacin, who left a fastball down and in – but over the plate – and VanMeter just unloaded on it. Chacin didn’t miss his target – the pitch was exactly where he wanted it to be. The issue was that it was a bad idea to try and go there.
The home run was the second hit of the day for VanMeter, and he’d add a double later in the game. That day began a week long tear for the Reds utility man, who went 11-21 with two doubles and three home runs in the final week of July. He hit .524/.600/1.048 in seven games to round out the month with twice as many walks as strikeouts (four walks, two strikeouts in 25 plate appearances).