Thanks to a multitude of factors, 2017 was the year of the home run. There were more homers hit this season (6,105) than in any other season in baseball history, and the Yankees contributed to that greatly. They led baseball with 241 home runs, including 161 homers by players no older than 27. Hooray for the youth movement.
Last week we looked at the first longest Yankees homers of the season. Now it’s time to move to the other end of the spectrum and look at the shortest Yankees homers of the season. Yankee Stadium, as we all know, is the only ballpark that gives up hilariously short home runs. You never see cheap homers into the Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park or around the Pesky Pole at Fenway Park. Only the short porch in Yankee Stadium. Crazy.
In all seriousness, the short porch leads to a lot of cheap home runs each season, and sometimes you can do nothing other than shake your head and laugh. My personal favorite are the balls that clear the wall after the hitter slams the bat and curses at himself because he thought he missed his pitch. In honor of the short porch and cheap home runs everywhere, here are the five shortest home runs hit by Yankees in 2017.
5. Ellsbury vs. Yovani Gallardo
The best stretch by a Yankee not named Aaron Judge this year came from Jacoby Ellsbury, who was out of his mind during a four-week stretch spanning late-August and early-September. Ellsbury didn’t have a good year overall, but that hot streak helped the Yankees win a lot of games. He came up big a few times.
On August 26th, one night after a tough extra innings loss, Ellsbury came through with a go-ahead three-run home run against Gallardo. He got the Yankees on the board with a run-scoring single earlier in the game. Here’s the dinger:
4. Hicks vs. Danny Duffy
Know how Judge dominated the longest homers list? Aaron Hicks dominates the shortest homers list. Didn’t expect that! He hit three of the four shortest homers by a Yankee this year.
The longest of Hicksie’s three short homers came in a loss to the Royals. Duffy crushed the Yankees that day, holding them to two runs in seven innings. The two runs scored on solo homers by Hicks and Chris Carter. The Hicks dinger was an opposite field job into the short porch.
3. Hicks vs. Addison Reed
Shout out to Reed for showing up in both the longest homers and shortest homers posts. He allowed the fourth longest homer by a Yankee and also the third shortest homer by a Yankee this season.
This home run was, at the time, one of the biggest homers of the season. The Red Sox were in town and the Yankees had lost five of their previous eight games to fall 4.5 games back of Boston in the AL East. It was gut check time. The Yankees had to take a stand to stay in the division race. So of course they fell behind 2-0 in the first inning. Groan. Hanley Ramirez walloped a two-run homer against Jaime Garcia.
The BoSox stretched the lead to 3-0 by time the eighth inning rolled around. Brett Gardner started the eighth inning rally with a walk against Reed, then Hicks, in his second game back from his first oblique injury, got the Yankees on the board with a home run into the right field corner.
2. Hicks vs. Michel Ynoa
The season was still young and we were all very much in the “is Hicks good now?” mode. It was the 15th game of the season — it was the tenth game for Hicks, personally — and Hicks lined his fourth homer over the wall in right field. Well, no, not over. The ball hit the top of the fence and hopped over.
1. Gregorius vs. Tony Cingrani
The shortest home run of the season was so short that it was only a few inches away from being robbed. Scott Schebler needed about nine more inches on his vertical to potentially reel this one in. Didi Gregorius provided two insurance runs with this blast, which he of course hooked into the short porch.