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The longest home run hit in almost three years went out on Friday night. You know you want to watch it.

On Friday night, with the Marlins losing 5-4 to the Rockies in the top of the sixth and Josh Roenicke on the mound, Giancarlo Stanton hit an important home run. It wasn't important because it tied the game, although the Marlins would go on to win by one run. This was a matchup between two last-place teams, so the outcome was about as inconsequential as the outcomes of baseball games come. It was important because it looked like this:

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June 30, 2011 9:00 am

Resident Fantasy Genius: Going the Distance


Derek Carty

Since HitTracker only covers home-run distance, how reliable is power distance in determining player value?

On Monday, reader Andrew left a comment on my article asking how I felt about different ways to use Greg Rybarczyk’s HitTracker data to evaluate a hitter’s power. This reminded me of an article that I started writing a while back but never got around to finishing, so I’m putting it together now.

As you probably know by now, I’m a big fan of using HitTracker as a tool for evaluating hitters, but there are some pitfalls that we need to look out for. One of the most common ways of evaluating a player’s power using HitTracker is to focus on his average distance. Today, I’d like to talk about why this could be a dangerous approach and how it can lead to some incorrect conclusions.

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Our latest guest contributor returns from the lab with exciting findings about home runs.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Alan Nathan is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His principal area of research is the physics of baseball. He maintains a web site devoted to this topic at go.illinois.edu/physicsofbaseball. His younger colleagues at Complete Game Consulting have bestowed upon him the exalted title of Chief Scientist.

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