Jared Triolo Mar 1, 2024; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jared Triolo (19) hits a 3-run home run during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Spring training is a time for players to shake off the rust from the offseason and get into game shape. Apparently, Statcast needs to get into playing form before the season starts, too.

One of Statcast’s best and most-loved features is its home run estimates, but that function appeared to malfunction Friday during a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays.

In the bottom of the second inning, Pirates infielder Jared Triolo turned on an 88 mph cutter from Erasmo Ramírez and crushed it to left-center. The ball sailed well over the outfield fence near the “375” sign, and appeared to glance off the rear of the bleachers’ rooftop.

Statcast measured the home run at 372 feet.

Granted, the ball didn’t sail directly over the 375 sign, but it was relatively close. The ball certainly traveled more than 372 feet.

One inning earlier, Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds hit a baseball over the awning that appeared to travel about the same distance as Triolo’s blast. Statcast measured his home run at 414 feet.

SportsNet Pittsburgh reporter Hannah Mears had just been talking with the Pirates booth about how far Reynolds home run had traveled when Triolo’s shot went flying.

“Hannah, you got to walk that off so we can compare what Statcast says,” color analyst John Wehner joked.

Statcast began estimating home run distances in 2015. Before that, those measurements were a guessing game, and sometimes the guesses were terrible. Case in point: Barry Bonds’ monster home run at Yankee Stadium in 2002.

The Yankees officially estimated the distance at 380. Other analysts guessed it traveled up to 465 feet.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.