PITTSBURGH — News flash: Oneil Cruz is a strong individual who is capable of hitting a baseball harder than most players in the major leagues.
Cruz proved that once again Wednesday when the rookie shortstop broke the Statcast record with a 122.4 mph single off of Kyle Wright in the third inning of the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-2 loss to the Braves on Wednesday. It was fastest exit velocity recorded since Major League Baseball started tracking the metric in 2015.
Cruz lined the ball hard off of the Clemente Wall in right field. So hard, in fact, that the only reason he didn’t get extra bases was because Braves right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. was able to retrieve the ball so quickly.
Oneil Cruz hit this 122.4 mph 🤯
That's the hardest hit ball in the Statcast era!!! pic.twitter.com/soAi7qKaCE
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 24, 2022
New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton previously held the record with a 121.7-mph home run in 2018.
Cruz finished the game 1 for 4, but his lone hit caught the attention of everyone in attendance at PNC Park, and baseball fans everywhere.