Franchy Cordero hit a monster blast for his first Red Sox home run
Phillies starter Zack Wheeler was dominant, retiring 17 batters in a row at one point, but finally made a mistake with a 93 mph four-seam fastball that he left over the plate to Cordero leading off the eighth inning. Wheeler had been topping 98 mph with his fastball earlier but may have been tiring at this stage of the game. Cordero took advantage, smashing a home run to deep center field that went over the second deck to land on the concourse.
The 474-foot blast is the fifth-longest home run in the majors this season, per Baseball Savant. Chicago’s Yermin Mercedes hast the longest this year at 485 feet – no, it didn’t come against a position player on a 3-0 count. Atlanta Braves outfielders Ronald Acuña Jr. (481) and Marcell Ozuna (479) plus Ryan McMahon (478) of the Colorado Rockies are the only MLB hitters with a home run longer than Cordero this season.
Cordero’s home run is also the second-longest home run by a Red Sox hitter in the Statcast era (since 2015), trailing only the 478-foot home run that Jackie Bradley Jr. hit in 2019. As impressive as JBJ was with his accomplishment, he benefited from hitting in the thin air of Colorado’s Coors Field. Cordero didn’t have the same luxury and his homer was hit harder even if it didn’t quite reach the same distance.
The home run by Cordero traveled at an exit velocity of 118.6 mph. Only Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (119 mph) has recorded a higher exit velocity this season. Giancarlo Stanton (122.2 mph in 2017, 121.7 mph in 2018), Aaron Judge (121.1 in 2017), Nelson Cruz (119 mph in 2015), and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (118.9 mph in 2019) are the only MLB hitters with a higher max exit velocity than Cordero in the Statcast era.
The Red Sox acquired Cordero from the Kansas City Royals in the Andrew Benintendi deal prior to this season. He came to Boston with the reputation of a hitter with impressive raw power but he hasn’t been living up to the hype. Cordero entered the day batting a pitiful .174 with a .239 slugging percentage. He only had six extra-base hits, all doubles, in 99 plate appearances.
Now that he finally has his first home run in a Red Sox uniform out of the way, perhaps this is the spark that will get Cordero’s bat going. He desperately needs to start showing more signs of life to avoid a demotion to Triple-A.
The Red Sox recently called up Danny Santana, who made a great impression by hitting home runs in each of his first two games. With the ability to play almost anywhere on the field, Santana threatens to steal playing time from Cordero if his struggles linger.
Alex Verdugo is nursing a hamstring injury while J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts were out of the lineup ahead of Monday’s scheduled off day to give the pair of All-Stars consecutive days of rest. Cordero was able to take advantage of the missing pieces to stick in the lineup and he made the most of the opportunity but it remains to be seen how much his role shrinks once everyone is available.
Cordero finally showed us that his power potential is more than a myth. If this majestic home run finally gets him to heat up, Cordero could convince the Red Sox to keep him on the roster.