On Sunday afternoon, the San Diego Padres defeated the Chicago Cubs and Franmil Reyes hit one of the longest home runs of the season.
For the last few weeks, San Diego Padres games have been particularly tough to watch. Despite that fact, I eagerly await each game because as much as this team disappoints me, nothing is better than baseball. Sunday’s game against the Cubs was a fun one to watch, ending with a 10-6 Padres win and a series split against a likely playoff-bound team.
San Diego recorded 15 hits and five walks on the afternoon, even starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi drew a walk (and then proceeded to just stand there because…pitchers). One of the biggest hits of the day came from Franmil Reyes, called up, once again, after Wil Myers returned to the disabled list.
Per Statcast, the home run exited the field at 111.2 mph and traveled 477 feet. The exit velocity wasn’t that impressive. Guys like Renato Nunez, Chris Taylor, Adam Engel, and Jorge Soler have hit balls harder, however, the distance that this ball traveled is extremely impressive. It could have traveled further.
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Franmil’s home run traveled the fifth longest distance in Major League Baseball, this season. Franchy Cordero‘s 489-foot shot currently leads the league, with Avisail Garcia (481 feet), Christian Walker (479 feet), and Marcell Ozuna (479 feet), being the only players to hit a baseball further in 2018.
Go back up and watch the home run again. That baseball should not have traveled 477 feet. The ball is low and way and Reyes is well out on his front foot, reaching for this baseball (on a 3-0 count). The strength needed to send that ball 477 feet is unreal. The “Franimal” nickname is extremely fitting.
Reyes didn’t spend his afternoon just destroying baseballs, he flashed some leather out in right field at Wrigley. Entering Sunday’s game, Reyes ranked 47th among all right fielders in Sprint Speed (according to Baseball Savant), with an average sprint speed of 27.1 mph. For reference, Travis Jankowski ranks fourth with an average of 29.3 mph. Making spectacular defensive plays isn’t exactly a strong suit of Reyes’. However, this diving catch was impressive, especially after rebounding and getting to the ball after taking a bad initial step.
The .221 batting average isn’t impressive, neither is the .270 OBP, 38% strikeout rate, .298 wOBA, or 88 wRC+ over the course of his rookie season. Personally, Reyes is someone I haven’t been high on, since his initial call-up, however, he’s slowly growing on me. This season is about seeing what the rookies have and seeing which players on this roster can show improvement. Reyes is slowly improving and providing some quality entertainment in the process.