After record home run levels in 2019, baseball has begun deadening the ball and using humidors in all ballparks. The effect was the lowest home run rate since 2015. The Royals’ home run rate fell 15 percent, but relative to the rest of the league they improved, going from 15th in the league to 12th.
Some home runs were more memorable than others. Let’s look back at the best Royals home runs of the year.
June 3 - Bobby Witt blast against Astros
Royals fans had heard about Bobby Witt’s power, but it was on full display against the Astros in June with this 443-foot blast against José Urquidy, the longest home run of his short career.
July 1 - Vinnie’s first MLB home run
Royals fans eagerly awaited the debut of slugger Vinnie Pasquantino, and it didn’t take long for the Italian Nightmare to terrorize opposing pitchers. In just his third game, Pasquantino hit an absolute laser beam for his first MLB home run, although he hit is so hard it was difficult to tell whether or not he actually hit it out! With an exit velocity of 112.7 mph, it was tied for the hardest-hit Royals home run this year.
July 31 - Salvy’s ninth-inning home run against the Yankees
The Royals were down 6-5 in the ninth inning, on the verge of being swept at Yankee Stadium on July 31. The Royals could have folded up shop, especially after reliever Clay Holmes retired the first batter, but a walk and a hit batsman opened the door a crack for Salvador Perez, and he busted it down. Salvy crushed a pitch 441 feet to dead center for a three-run blast to give the Royals the lead and eventually a win in New York.
August 5 - Salvy blasts the longest Royals home run of the year
The longest Royals home run of the year was hit by Salvador Perez, to no surprise. He had three of the five longest Royals home runs this year, including this 455-foot blast at the K against Red Sox pitcher Josh Winckowski.
August 6 - Nick Pratto walk-off vs. Boston
It was a mixed bag for Nick Pratto upon his promotion to the big leagues, but he showed enough promise to get fans excited for the future. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth in a tied game against Boston, Pratto drilled a Garrett Whitlock fastball up in the zone for a 424 foot home run to center to walk-off the game, only to be mobbed at home by his young teammates.
September 5 - Drew Waters wins a $100 bet
Zack Greinke was a mentor who would razz his young teammates, such as when he bet outfielder Drew Waters $100 he wouldn’t hit a home run this season. Waters feared he might be jinxed, but there was no need to worry when he drilled a hanging breaking ball from Guardians pitcher Triston McKenzie into the right field bullpen for his first big league home run. Greinke had to acknowledge the wager.
“He was like, ‘That’s awesome, nice swing. I owe you,’” Waters said.
Did I miss any? What was your favorite Royals home run in 2022?
What was your favorite Royals home run in 2022?
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Bobby blast against the Astros
Vinnie’s first MLB home run
Salvy’s game-winner against the Yankees
Salvy’s 455-foot blast against Boston
Nick Pratto walk-off against Boston
Drew Waters first MLB home run