Pirates’ Oneil Cruz Blasted The Hardest-Hit Ball On Record

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz has been getting a lot of attention on how fast his throws to first are. He has the record for the fastest infield throw which was clocked at 97.8 miles per hour.

Now, he’s showing how hard he can hit the ball.

The 6-foot-7 slugger hit the ball harder than anyone on record in baseball’s Statcast era.

Cruz hit a line drive that jumped off his bat at a blistering 122.4 miles per hour.

The record-breaking single was one of the few bright spots in what was an otherwise abysmal outing for the Pirates. They were dealt a relentless 14-2 beating, courtesy of the Atlanta Braves.

That was also Cruz’s only hit on the afternoon in which he went 1-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

At least he made that single memorable.

Statcast started tracking exit velocity in 2015. The previous record belonged to Giancarlo Stanton who hit two balls with an exit velocity of 122.2 mph, once in 2017 and again in 2021.

Cruz is now part of an elite group — along with just three other players — who have hit balls with an exit velocity over 120 mph. Aaron Judge and Gary Sánchez each have one a piece, while Stanton has hit 14 of them.

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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