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The "almost home runs" off of Wade Davis in 2014

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Who suppresses home runs more than the Kauffman Stadium parking lot? Wade Davis, that's who.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Let's get this out of the way first...Wade Davis didn't actually allow any home runs in 2014. Only three relievers last year with at least 50 innings pitched didn't allow a home run - Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, and Brandon League. Hey, that's two Royals relievers! Since 2010, only five relievers went the entire seasons with that many innings pitched and didn't allow a home run - the three named above in 2014 and both Brad Ziegler and Javier Lopez in 2011. So over the past five seasons, Davis (and Herrera) are in rarefied air of the home run club.

So some hitters kinda hit a home run off of Davis. When I say kinda home runs I'm referring to the furthest hit balls off of Wade Davis. Davis didn't actually allow any home runs, but hitting a ball 320+ feet off Davis, which is basically further than any other ball hit off him, is a home run - at least morally as you've accomplished something very few other hitters did in 2014. It's like a mutual fund in a bear market. You probably can't avoid losing money (except for being in cash a.k.a. the DL/retirement) so you just want to not lose as much money as the benchmark or relative funds. So in a general context, hitting a ball 330 feet off of Jeremy Guthrie isn't that spectacular, but hitting it off of Wade Davis in 2014 is at least something you could maybe be proud of (except that you probably made an out).

Davis HR Final

Those are the five farthest hit balls this year off of Wade Davis (I excluded line drives from the list). Two of those went for hits while the other three went for just relatively long Wade Davis outs. None of those went for hits.

#5 August 11th, 289 feet - Josh Reddick

Reddick HR

This came in the bottom of the 8th, like every other instance further, in a 3-2 ballgame late in the season. A completely comfortable snag for Alex Gordon.

#4 August 10, 292 feet - Joe Panik

Panik FB

Back-to-back days Davis allowed some of the farthest flyballs of his season. Panik got an 86 MPH knuckle-curve from Wade. On the screencap, Dyson made this one look a little harder than it actually was. Originally Dyson undershot his route and eventually backtracked and made the play. Almost could have been the farthest hit allowed.

#3 May 17th, 322 feet - Delmon Young

Dyson had this one easily as he camped under it for a bit before the catch. Delmon Young hasn't done a lot in his once highly projected career, but he can add hitting the 3rd longest fly ball off of Wade Davis in 2014 to his resume.

Maybe it's Illuminati, but the three previous furthest fly balls all came on the third pitch of the at-bat.

#2 September 1st, 328 feet - Elvis Andrus

Andrus FB

This one actually looked scary off the bat. Andrus pretty a pretty good swing on this one, showing off his surprising and occasionally seen pop with an uppercut swing off a 94 MPH sinker.

Here's a bit closer but more obstructed view of where Gordon makes the catch.

Andrus FB2

That's just a few feet away from going over the wall and tying the game in the 8th.

#1 June 5th, 335 feet - Matt Holliday

Holliday fb

If Holliday hits this into the left or right field corner then it's probably gone and the game is tied. Instead he hits it to almost dead center, one of the deepest parts of any ballpark in baseball, and the Cardinals would end up losing.

Coincidentally all these fly balls were hit at Kauffman and the Royals won all five ball games.

Listen. When you strike out almost 40% of the batters you face, walk ~9% you don't leave a lot up to the gods of balls in play. Meanwhile when you're inducing a nearly 50% groundball rate you don't get many fly balls either. It's pretty crazy that the farthest hit flyball off Guthrie this year was even close to a home run while one that almost did leave the park was hit by a batter with 2 total home runs in 2014.

There's probably a good chance that Davis allows a home run this season, and while we're on the subject, here's the last home run Davis allowed.

378 feet, for the record.