Pop quiz: can you recall the Cubs’ longest homer of 2016?
I’ll let you think for a moment before I say anything, and then show you the longest dingers.
Here’s where I am, before I watch the video. I remember that Kris Bryant had the longest homer of the year, and it was – of course – an absolute bomb at Coors Field. I also remember that Jorge Soler and Willson Contreras had monster blasts at Wrigley Field at various points in the season (Soler’s was earlier in the year and off the video board in left, Contreras’s was later against the Cardinals, I think). That’s the gist of what I can remember in terms of distances on homers this year for the Cubs.
And now, we go to the tape. Statcast compiled in video the Cubs’ five longest homers in 2016, and what a wonderful joy it is to watch:
So, Bryant’s blast in Colorado was indeed the longest, at a nice and even 469 feet.
What I didn’t remember was that, the very next day, Addison Russell hit the Cubs’ second longest homer of the year, 465 feet. The reason I probably didn’t remember that homer in isolation is because it came as part of a two-homer day for the young shortstop, and the other homer was the one that landed in a freaking trash can. That kinda thing sticks out in your memory and overwhelms the other stuff around it.
The Willson Contreras shot against the Cardinals in August was … not the right one. I was remembering this blast, which was an exclamation point in the game and a length 415 feet (and helped the Cubs win their 11th in a row), but was not up there among the longest of the year. Instead, it was a September homer against the Reds that is up there on the list. Confession? I don’t remember this homer at all. But as I think about it, now I remember why: we’d just had The Littlest Girl a few days earlier.
The fourth longest homer was the Jorge Soler blast (just a few inches shy of the Contreras homer, actually), which came in May against the Phillies, off the video board in left.
The final homer on the list was an Anthony Rizzo shot off of Bartolo Colon, which is just good fun all around.
Five longest homers of the year, five different young Cubs. How many of them would you have gotten if you guessed without looking?
Unrelated, except for the fact that I now realize we need a “I’m Here for the Homer Party” shirt, this deal is still good, friends:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) November 24, 2016