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Statcast Heroes: Oneil Cruz, Matt Gorski, Omar Alfonzo, and Plenty of Velocity


I’ve been focusing on the new bat tracking data over the last two weeks with the Statcast Heroes articles. This week I’m getting back to tracking the top performers throughout the system from the previous week. First, the highlights, before diving into the weekly leaders below.

Oneil Cruz Has a Game

Last Tuesday, Oneil Cruz set a Statcast record with three balls hit harder than 116 MPH, with two hit 120+ MPH. Cruz hit a double at 116.3 MPH, a single at 120.4 MPH, and another double at 121.5 MPH. The 120+ MPH hits were the hardest hit balls in the game this year.

Cruz now has three hits of 120+ MPH in his career. Only five players have hit the ball 120 MPH or harder during the Statcast era, and Cruz is one of two who has done it multiple times. The leader is Giancarlo Stanton, with 14 balls hit 120+ MPH. Since 2022, Cruz leads with three, and Ronald Acuna is the only other hitter with a 120+ MPH batted ball.

MLB Velocity Variation

With Paul Skenes in the majors, the Pirates now have three pitchers who can hit triple digits. The velocity leaders this past week featured 12 of the 13 pitches thrown that hit 100 MPH or faster. Aroldis Chapman led the way, with Skenes and Jared Jones getting into triple-digits in their starts.

The Pirates had two other pitchers who threw 99 MPH or harder. Colin Holderman and Kyle Nicolas brought the heat out of the bullpen.

Indianapolis Hitting

The top six hardest hit balls in Indianapolis this week came from six different hitters. The most consistent hitter of the week was Matt Gorski, who homered five times, and had four of the top ten furthest hit balls for Indianapolis. The Pirates just sent Jack Suwinski down to Triple-A, and he joined the exit velocity leaders in his first game. Henry Davis also got on the board with one of his three home runs.

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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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