MLB's lowest-elevated home runs of 2012

Source Photo credit: Ezra Shaw

Laser beams. Rockets. Frozen ropes. The line drive home runs from 2012 that held closest to the turf.

Oh, the home run.

Home runs come in all shapes and sizes. The towering, no doubter that affords the hitter the chance to watch it all unfold. The laser beam, that gets in the seats before the pitcher has even had time to finish his follow through and realize the damage that's been done. The just enough variety, that gives the outfielder a chance to make a highlight reel grab at the fence. Even the inside-the-parker that toggles the eyes between the batter racing around the bases and the outfielders desperately trying to chase down the wayward ball.

As a not-close-to-professional baseball player growing up, I did not hit a lot of home runs. My offensive game relied on lots of singles and doubles and some speed. On the rare occasion where I did hit one out, it would be a line drive that hugged the left field line and carried just long and high enough to clear the fence.

Perhaps this is why one particular baseball event that I love to watch is the low, laser beam home run. These are not necessarily limited to those that barely clear the fence, but any ball that is hit out on a low, line drive.

If I asked you to recall the hardest hit home run of 2012, there is a good chance your mind would bring back images of a broken scoreboard in Miami, thanks to a moonshot by Giancarlo Stanton off of a Jamie Moyer batting practice fastball. If I asked you to guess the longest home run of the season, you would likely also guess Stanton, and you would be correct. His 492 foot blast off Rockies' Josh Roenicke at Coors Field bested the field in 2012.

So here is a less obvious question: who hit the lowest home run that cleared the fences this year? Before you guess an inside-the-park home run, those are not included in this list. Four of the five lowest home run hitters of the season have had 30-HR seasons in the big leagues. Remember your guess, and leave it for us in the comments and we'll see the types of names that arise.

While analyzing the game is what I really love, sometimes everyone just needs to sit back and enjoy watching. Without further ado, here are the five lowest home runs of the 2012 season, with the highest home run shown first as a visual juxtaposition.

Highest Home Run of 2012

162 feet, Todd Helton off J.J. Putz, Coors Field, April 14

Helton's towering drive walked off the Rockies against Arizona in the ninth.

5 Lowest Home Runs of 2012

46 feet, Carlos Gonzalez off Frank Francisco, Coors Field, April 29

Thank goodness for Coors Field! So far it seems that all the wildest home runs happen there.

46 feet, Robinson Cano off Alex Cobb, Yankee Stadium, June 6

Annually one of the highest line drive generating hitters in the league, it is no surprise to see Cano make this list. While impressive, Cano has actually hit at least two other home runs in his career that were lower than this bomb.

46 feet, Alex Rodriguez off Jonny Venters, Turner Field, June 12

The owner of 647 career regular season home runs, this marked Rodriguez' lowest home run since the 2007 season. It also happened to be his 23rd career grand slam, pulling him into a tie for first all-timer in this category with former Yankee great Lou Gehrig. This is the only one of the five lowest home runs of the season that would have gone out in every park in the league.

46 feet, Carlos Ruiz off Adam Ottavino, Citizens Bank Park, June 19

Chooch had a career-best 2012 season, that included this frozen rope at home in June.

43 feet, Adam Jones off Edwin Jackson, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, June 23

The winner of the home run-that-left-the-ground-the-least competition of 2012 is Orioles slugger Adam Jones, who had already started to cool off from his white hot start by the time he hit this home run in late June. Amazingly this home run was almost four times lower than Helton's rainmaker.

So, did anyone guess Adam Jones as the winner?

Feel free to follow me @MLBPlayerAnalys on Twitter.


Credit and thanks to ESPN Stats & Information Group for data upon which this analysis is based.

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