Yesterday we looked at the longest home runs hit by the Yankees hit in 2016, and now it’s time to go to the other extreme. Now we’re going to look back at the shortest home runs. The most laughable wall-scrapers of the season. These are the homers that make you feel like the Yankees just stole a run because the ball would have been caught at most other ballparks.
Thanks to right field, Yankee Stadium is very conducive to hilariously short home runs. It cuts both ways though; the Yankees hit plenty of cheap home runs into the short porch, but they also give up a lot too. So anyway, let’s get to the team’s five shortest dingers of the 2016 season. Thanks again to Baseball Savant for making this post possible.
5. Castro vs. David Huff
True story: I got my Starlin Castro home runs mixed up and wrote up a capsule for entirely separate short home run against the Angels before realizing it was the wrong one. Oops.
Anyway, the fifth shortest home run of the season came against Huff, the ex-Yankee, who I had no idea was still active, let alone spent time in MLB this year. It was June 7th and the Yankees were home against the Angels. They’d lost eight of their last 13 games — the Yankees, not the Angels — and were struggling to score runs. Hard to believe, I know.
The Yankees did rally from behind to win the previous night’s game — Castro hit a home run in that game and that’s the one I originally wrote up (d’oh) — and because Huff is not so good, they were able to open a quick 5-0 lead in this game. Three in first, one in the second, and one in the third. The fifth shortest home run of the season was run No. 5. To the video:
4. Teixeira vs. Carlos Villanueva
Milestone homer! Mark Teixeira’s home run off Villanueva, an eighth inning solo shot on July 7th that stretched New York’s lead to 3-1, was the 400th dinger of his career. Teixeira became only the fifth switch-hitter in history to hit 400 home runs, joining Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, Chipper Jones, and Carlos Beltran. Here’s the video:
Also, Teixeira gets +10 RAB Internet Points for hitting a short right field homer somewhere other than Yankee Stadium. Distance: 331 feet.
3. Austin vs. Matt Andriese
The fourth shortest and fourth longest homers of the season were hit in consecutive innings. The third shortest and third longest homers of the season were hit by consecutive batters.
The Yankees were playing the Rays at home on August 13th, the day they really went all-in on the second half youth movement. We said goodbye to Alex Rodriguez the night before and hello to Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge that day. In his first big league at-bat Austin showed off his opposite field approach and poked a home run down the right field line. Check it out:
2. Hicks vs. Ryan Garton
I remember every home run in the shortest/longest home runs posts except this one. Happens every year. Always forget one completely. Don’t remember this one happening at all.
The day before Austin and Judge went back-to-back, the Yankees were home against the Rays saying goodbye to A-Rod. The Yankees were up 5-3 in the seventh inning when Aaron Hicks stepped to the plate to start the inning against Garton. Unlike every other homer in this post, Hicks went to left field, not right. Check it out:
1. McCann vs Kevin Gausman
The shortest home run the Yankees hit in 2016 was also the last home run the Yankees hit in 2016. It was Game 162, and it came against a guy the Yankees couldn’t touch all season. Gausman really dominated them all year. Pretty annoying, it was.
McCann’s home run led off the fourth inning with the Yankees already down 3-0. It wasn’t even that bad a pitch. It was an up-and-in fastball, and McCann was able to get his bat around quick enough to hook it into the short porch in right field.
Believe it or not, MLB.com does not have video of this home run. I guess it was too inconsequential to post. I had to make a GIF instead:
And that was that. The Yankees lost the meaningless game — meaningless to them, anyway, it clinched a wildcard spot for the Orioles — and didn’t hit another dinger in 2016. See you in 2017. Distance: 324 feet.
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Statcast only goes back so far, but as best I can tell, McCann’s home run was the shortest by a Yankee since Teixeira hit a 321-foot bomb (!) off Roy Halladay in 2010. Here’s the video: