Remember last year when Miguel Sano was still in the minor leagues, but Oswaldo Arcia and Kennys Vargas were slugging the hell out of the baseball? That was fun, even if the 2014 season was a wreck. Arcia hit 20 bombs as a 23-year old and slugged .452. Vargas knocked out nine homers in just 53 games, also 23 years old, and slugged .456. They combined to hit six of the Twins' ten longest home runs of the season.
Those performances put visions of a trio of youngsters slugging in our heads. Now Vargas, now Arcia, now Sano, bombs away, bombs away, bombs away all!
It didn't quite work out that way. At least, not yet. Here's a countdown of the longest home runs hit by the Minnesota Twins in 2015, as dictated by ESPN's home run tracker. All numbers can be verified through that tool. Before we get started, we'll run through a few frivolities.
Shortest home run: 340 feet, Brian Dozier off of Danny Salazar on May 10
Highest peak: 141 feet, Brian Dozier off of Danny Salazar on May 10
Highest elevation angle: 41.2-degree elevation angle, Briant Dozier off of Danny Salazar, May 10
Slowest home run: 93.6 mph exit velocity, Torii Hunter off of CC Sabathia on July 25
Fastest home run: 112.1 mph exit velocity, Kennys Vargas off of John Danks on June 22
This home run will appear on our list of the ten longest home runs this year, so instead of including the video link we'll ask that you check it out below.
Lowest peak: 54 feet, Torii Hunter off of Branden Pinder on July 24
Lowest elevation angle: 19.9-degree elevation angle, Trevor Plouffe off of Shane Green on July 12
- The Twins hit 22 home runs categorized as "No Doubters," per ESPN's home run tracker. Miguel Sano hit five, Torii Hunter hit four, and Eddie Rosario hit three. Aaron Hicks, Brian Dozier, and Kennys Vargas each hit two. Joe Mauer, Eduardo Escobar, Trevor Plouffe, and Oswaldo Arcia each contributed one.
- The Twins hit 62 home runs this season that would have been a home run regardless of what park they would have been hit in.
- Byron Buxton gets the "Just Enough" award, hitting a home run off of Shawn Armstrong on September 30. It would have been a home run in just three ballparks. You can watch the video here.
10. Trevor Plouffe off Kyle Lohse
Date: June 26 | Speed off bat: 104.7 mph | Distance: 426 feet
The Twins were getting destroyed in this one, when Plouffe launched a two-run shot to make the contest slightly less embarrassing. Maybe this should be awarded bonus points for coming off of Lohse.
9. Eddie Rosario off Rick Porcello
Date: May 27 | Speed off bat: 105 mph | Distance: 426 feet
Rosario swung at plenty of pitches he probably shouldn't have in 2015, but this one was right over the heart of the plate and he destroyed the ball. He'll never be a guy who will hit 20 home runs, but as he illustrates here - and later on this list - Rosario has exceptional hand-eye coordination and can make solid contact regardless of where the ball is placed.
8. Kennys Vargas off Zach Putnam
Date: May 3 | Speed off bat: 108.8 mph | Distance: 426 feet
Vargas hasn't completely disappeared from our top ten list, crushing this one to straightaway center field. Considering he muscled this one off the bottom of the strike zone, it's almost funny how easy Vargas makes it look.
7. Eddie Rosario off Jeff Samardzija
Date: September 30 | Speed off bat: 107.2 mph | Distance: 429 feet
Almost in the same location as Rosario's earlier entry on this list, Samardzija's fastball hit the second deck in the right-center field gap. That's Jim Thome territory, and I'm sure we all remember the kind of shots he used to take. Rosario has made a habit of energizing the fanbase, and a grand slam off of a White Sox pitcher will do that pretty well.
6. Miguel Sano off Nick Martinez
Date: August 12 | Speed off bat: 105.8 mph | Distance: 429 feet
Get used to seeing this guy for the rest of the list. Like Vargas earlier on the list, Sano goes down to the bottom of the strike zone and just golfs this one into the second tier of seats in the left-center field gap to tie the game.
5. Miguel Sano off Zach McAllister
Date: September 30 | Speed off bat: 108.8 mph | Distance: 432 feet
Perhaps a garbage time home run late in game, Sano fires a line drive into the empty seats to break up the shutout.
4. Kennys Vargas off John Danks
Date: June 22 | Speed off bat: 112.1 mph | Distance: 436 feet
An off speed pitch over the outer half of the plate, and Vargas eviscerates that baseball. I'm convinced the ball was still on an upward trajectory when it hit the gating between the second and third decks. Holy cow.
3. Miguel Sano off Trevor Gott
Date: September 19 | Speed off bat: 108 mph | Distance: 441 feet
Almost in an identical location to Vargas' shot at number four, Sano's two-run shot tied the game late versus the Angels. There are so many things to give a Twins fan goose bumps when it comes to Miguel Sano, but to know how much he craves to be in that critical spot - and to see how he can deliver - has to be one of the biggest reasons. Did you jump off your seat when you saw this one heading out? I sure did.
2. Miguel Sano off Carlos Rodon
Date: September 2 | Speed off bat: 106.8 mph | Distance: 446 feet
You may as well just set it on a tee. Sano takes a meatball and drops it about three-fifths of the way up the black tarp in center field.
1. Miguel Sano off Drew Hutchinson
Date: August 5 | Speed off bat: 110.1 mph | Distance: 447 feet
You can hear it in Toronto's fanbase: "Ohhh..." as Sano's monster home run soars deep into the second deck in the left-center field gap. This game probably seemed pretty well in hand for the Blue Jays, but when you see a guy do something like Sano just did to cut that lead in half then you're lying if you thought the game's outcome was secure. That ball may have left a crater on impact.
Just a couple of things to note on our way out this year.
- Brian Dozier and Torii Hunter were first and tied for second on the team in home runs this season. Neither appeared in our Top 10 list for longest home runs. Trevor Plouffe was the guy who tied Hunter, and he only gets to number ten.
- There's no Oswaldo Arcia on the list, but Miguel Sano and Kennys Vargas found a way to combine for seven of the top ten spots.
- Similarly, rookies accounted for seven of the top ten spots: Sano placed five times, Rosario twice.