Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz records two hardest hit baseballs in 2024

Oneil Cruz

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz of Nizao, Dominican Republic is one of the game’s rising stars. On Tuesday we saw just how electrifying Cruz has the capability of becoming. In a 7-6 Pirates win over the San Francisco Giants, Cruz hit the two hardest hit baseballs in 2024. He also became the first player ever to have two base hits with a 120 mile per hour exit velocity in the same game.

To put things into perspective, only two players ever have hit a baseball 120 miles per hour on multiple occasions since Statcast first measured batted baseballs in 2015. Cruz has accomplished the feat three times now, while New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton of Los Angeles, California has accomplished the feat a remarkable 14 times.

Inside look at the two hard hit baseballs

Cruz hit a line drive single to right field in the bottom of the first inning that was measured at 120.4 miles per hour. The base hit came off of Giants starting pitcher Logan Webb with two out.

Cruz then hit a line drive double to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning in dramatic fashion as there were two out. This 121.5 mile per hour extra base hit was significant because it tied the game at six off of Giants closer Camilo Doval. It was a poor performance by Doval, who blew the save. The double by Cruz ended up scoring center fielder Ji Hwan Bae of Daegu, South Korea. Bae singled to right field earlier in the inning and advanced to second base later in the inning on an error.

Oneil Cruz in 2024

Cruz batted .260 with seven home runs and 19 runs batted in. During 47 games, 177 at bats and 188 plate appearances, he scored 18 runs and had 46 hits, 11 doubles, four stolen bases, 11 walks, 78 total bases, with an on base percentage of .303 and a slugging percentage of .441.


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