mike trout-giancarlo stanton

From an analytical perspective, Spring Training is mostly meaningless. The games don’t count for the standings, half the players won’t sniff a Major-League roster, and players are more interested in honing their mechanics than with producing results.

But you know what Spring Training is good for? Dingers.

On Saturday, Mike Trout and Giancarlo Stanton (the two most important players in baseball), both whacked the type of home runs that make you stop and stare, then rewind the video clip and watch again. The type of home runs you don’t see every day, at any time of year. The type of home runs that require us to evaluate with scientific precision which one was cooler. Let’s meet the candidates.

Candidate One: Giancarlo Stanton off Matt Harvey

Candidate Two: Mike Trout off Joan Gregorio

The case for Stanton

Has anyone this century shown as much opposite-field power as Giancarlo Stanton? Miguel Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez come to mind, but even they couldn’t drive the ball the other way like Stanton. Saturday’s home run was a towering bomb to left-center that cleared the wall easily. If you hadn’t seen the swing and only watched the trajectory, you’d have thought it came from a powerful left-handed slugger, not a righty in the opposite batter’s box.

Unlike Trout’s blast, Stanton’s came off a Major-League pitcher. Matt Harvey may no longer be an All-Star, but at least you have heard of him.

Finally, bonus points to Stanton for this herculean shot counting as his first (unofficial) home run as a Yankee.

The Case for Trout

Did you see that ball fly? Did you? He hit it over the damn batter’s eye. To dead centerfield. Who does that?

On pure distance, Trout wins easy. The centerfield fence was 420 feet from home plate, and the Angels outfielder cleared it easily. We can’t even tell how far the ball soared because it disappeared out of sight and apparently out of the stadium. For all we know, it still hasn’t landed.

Stanton’s home run was impressive, but Trout’s was gargantuan.

And the winner is…

You can’t make us choose. After all, this is Spring Training, when winners and losers don’t matter and we’re all just in it for the sun and the charm. Stanton and Trout’s home runs were each impressive in their own way, and rather than take away from one, we shall celebrate both.

Hooray, baseball.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.