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The Hardest Hit Balls From The First Half Of The Pirates Season

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MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In the second installment of this trilogy of Pirate first half best/worst oddities, we’ll be taking a look at the balls that left a Pirate hitter’s bat at the highest exit velocity.

Cards on the table: this was originally going to be the luckiest/unluckiest hits according to expected batting average. I opted against it since it turned out to be mostly ground balls and soft liners hit directly into shifts. Boring. You know what’s not boring? Balls getting tattooed.

Now this might shock you, but Josh Bell hits baseballs very hard. The Pirates have a combined 13 batted balls with an exit velocity of at least 112 MPH this year. Bell hit eight of them.

So we’re going to have categories: Bell and the rest of the team. The All-Star goes first.

3. June 12, Base Hit, Exit Velocity: 114.3 MPH

2. May 8, Home Run, Exit Velocity: 114.9 MPH

1. May 22, Home Run, Exit Velocity: 116.2 MPH

Was there really any doubt on what the top two would be?

Everyone Else

3. Gregory Polanco, May 9, Double, Exit Velocity: 113.7 MPH

2. Elias Diaz, May 25, Ground Out, Exit Velocity: 113.9 MPH

1. Jung Ho Kang, June 11, Single, Exit Velocity: 114.5 MPH

A ground out and single seems like an anticlimactic way to end this post, so let’s end it on the other end of the spectrum. The softest hit- and shortest- home run by a Pirate in the first half was struck by Corey Dickerson on June 27. It traveled 336 feet.

Now wasn’t that more interesting than seeing a couple ruthlessly efficient shifts?