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The Rockies hardest hit balls of the year

Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, October 3, 2022

It’s been quite a year for hard hit balls across the Majors. Albert Pujols hit his 702nd home run, showing no sign of slowing down. Current Yankee legend Aaron Judge is now tied with former Yankee legend Roger Maris for the single-season American League home run record. For Judge, he not only hit the ball the furthest, he also hit the ball the hardest - averaging the highest exit velocity (96.0 MPH) for batters on the year.

So if Aaron Judge led the majors in average exit velocity, who led the Rockies?

Yep - you called it. He of two homers and a .184 average, Sam Hilliard. The rest of the list is a little more intuitive.

Colorado Rockies exit velocity leaders, 2022

Rank Player Average EV (MPH)
Rank Player Average EV (MPH)
1 Sam Hilliard 92
2 Ryan McMahon 91.9
3 Randal Grichuk 90
4 Brendan Rodgers 90
5 Sean Bouchard 89.8
6 Elehuris Montero 89.8
7 CJ Cron 88.8
Baseball Savant

Jose Iglesias brings up the rear, with an average EV of 83.8 MPG. Also concerningly low was Kris Bryant at 17th on the list (84.9 mph). Here’s a look at some of the individual hardest hit balls of the year.

CJ Cron, 110 MPH exit velocity, home run

Cron’s first homer of the year also ended up being his hardest hit. He took a 2-1 pitch from Julio Urias and deposited it in the left field bleachers. Urias left the game shortly after this homer, tying his eventual mark for shortest start of the year. This hit was the Rockies seventh hardest hit ball of the year, and one of many from Cron, who occupied the first, second, seventh and eighth spots on the list, among others.

Ryan McMahon, 113.7 MPH exit velocity, single

Some times a well hit ball winds up a home run, some times they end up a single. RyMac was looking fastball and got one here, hitting it right back up the middle for a rocket of a single. It was the Rockies fourth hardest hit ball of the year, and one of three entries for McMahon on the top 10.

Sam Hilliard, 115.1 MPH exit velocity, line out

…sometimes they end up an out. Sam Hilliard shows how he can simultaneously make the hardest contact and also hit well below the Mendoza line. This was the Rockies third hardest hit ball of the year, and one of two entries Hilliard had in the top 10.

Brendan Rodgers, 112.2 MPH exit velocity, double

Prior to the 2019 season, the Nationals made Patrick Corbin a rich man - signing him to a six-year, $140 million deal. The Nationals won the World Series in 2019, thanks in part to Corbin, but the contract and Corbin’s have been downhill since - and Brendan Rodgers took advantage. This hit rounds out the Rockies top 10 hardest hit balls of the year.

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Colorado Rockies infielders deserve strong consideration for Gold Glove awards | Mile High Sports

Don’t look now but the second coming of the Coors Shield may have materialized in LoDo this summer. Ryan McMahon is a known quantity at this point, CJ Cron is a plus defensively, and Brendan Rodgers had a breakout year, leading qualified NL second basement in defensive runs saved, as Drew Creasman notes. And then there’s the new kid, making plays like this yesterday.

The Rockies will surely have plenty of holes in their lineup to fill next year, but it’s looking like infield defense may not be one of them.

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On The Farm

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes (COL) season concluded on Sept. 28 (Final record: 62-86)

Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats (COL) season concluded on Sept. 18 (Final record: 34-34)

High-A: Spokane Indians (COL) season concluded on Sept. 11 (Final record: 30-36)

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies (COL) season concluded on Sept. 20 (Final record: 42-24)

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