The San Francisco Giants don’t hit the baseball very hard, and it makes me sad.
Not because of what that means for the on-field production, or anything. No, don’t be silly.
It makes me sad because you can detect so much pure joy from the voice of Jon Miller when he gets to cite a majestic exit velocity number from the MLB At Bat app, and I don’t like that the Giants are depriving a legend of elation simply because of their crusade against hard-hit contact.
Except for one man, known for the same exuberance that brands Miller: Pablo Sandoval.
Exit velocity is such a hot trend that you can find it on page 109 of the newest Vogue issue, and the Giants are rummaging through the aisles of Target while Sandoval parades down Fifth Ave.
Sandoval has hit the ball with an exit velocity of at least 110 MPH more times than any other Giant. More times than all other Giants combined. More times than all other Giants combined, if all of the other Giants had done so twice as many times as they actually did.
In less convoluted terms, here: enjoy this table.
Giants Exit Velocities
|Pablo Sandoval||112.4||Home Run|
|Tyler Austin||111.1||Home Run|
|Alex Dickerson||110.9||Home Run|
|Pablo Sandoval||110.8||Home Run|
Here’s the full tally of San Francisco players to hit the ball 110 MPH or harder off of the bat this year:
Pablo Sandoval: 10
Giants who were not Giants on opening day: 4
Giants who were Giants on opening day and aren’t named Pablo Sandoval: 0
This isn’t necessarily an article remarking on how hard Sandoval is hitting the ball. It’s just as much an article remarking on the fact that Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria, and Buster Posey have all failed to hit a single ball with that exit velocity this year.
So this article is a choose your own adventure story. You can use arbitrary qualifiers to try and find some optimism with a single player, or look at the big picture to find a whole lot of pessimism with the team. Your choice. That’s kind of how the season has gone, right?
Either way, Sandoval is hitting the ball hard, and exit velocity is one data point that gives credence to the notion that his resurgence this year isn’t entirely luck and statistical silliness.
And, on the other side . . . it’s 2019, Giants. Start hitting the ball hard. It’s the thing to do.