Pittsburgh Pirates rookie O’Neal Cruz rips 122.4mph streak, hardest hit ball in Statcast era

Pittsburgh Pirates Shortstop Rookie Anil Cruz Wednesday’s drive ruptured at an exit speed of 122.4 mph, the most hit ball in a Major League Baseball game during the Statcast era.

Two-stroke at the bottom of the third inning, Cruz 6-foot-7 my missile Quick ball on the first court of the right Braves Kyle Wright Rising off the right field wall at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

The liner took such a hit that Cruz was confined to one by Braves Fielder’s right-hand man. Ronald Akuna Jr.. , who quickly recovered the ball and put it back on the field.

The 17th ball hit has been at an exit speed of at least 120 mph since Statcast began tracking hits in 2015. 14 of the previous 16 have been hit by a Yankees player. Giancarlo Stantonwhose 122.2mph double hitter last August was the MLB’s toughest ball ahead of Cruz’s shot on Wednesday.

Cruz, 23, has been a bright spot in a disappointing season for the last-place Buccaneers, often astounding fans with his power in the board and his mighty arm.

The left-footed hitter hit two balls at exit speeds of at least 118 mph since his promotion to Pirates last October, and his 97.8 mph shortstop last month is The Fastest Assist Pass in the Statcast Era.

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