If you’ve been paying attention to Ole Miss baseball since, say, June, you may recall an incident that could best be described as winning the College World Series in Omaha. In other words, a national championship, which, almost 8 months later, remains a fun thing to bring up to everyone.
During the extended stay on the Missouri River, then-sophomore Kemp Alderman decided to showcase his ability to, according to the analytics wizards, “smash the shit out of the baseball.”
As documented in our recap of the title win in Omaha, Alderman, going into Game 2 of the championship series, hit 7 balls during the CWS with an exit velocity* of 108 miles per hour or higher. No other player in Omaha hit more than 3.
*If you’re unfamiliar with exit velocity, it measures the speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat immediately after contact. Anything over 100 MPH is strong-ass strength.
Alderman’s double in the bottom of the 9th in Game 1 of the final series was particularly outrageous:
The ball traveled 397 feet in about 2.5 seconds and, as this ESPN graphic noted, the launch angle was 15 degrees, meaning it wasn’t going to have a lot of lift.
Had the launch angle been more in this area...
...the ball probably would’ve gone over downtown Omaha. ESPN analyst Kyle Peterson said on the broadcast, “If he’d got under that a little more, that would’ve been the longest home run we’ve ever seen here.”
It will never stop being enjoyable to watch that display of power, but a new season has started, meaning what happened in Omaha could’ve been the result of Alderman on an elite heater. Well, it’s early, but after 3 games against Delaware*, Alderman has resumed, as previously noted, “smashing the shit out of the baseball.”
*I’ve said this before, but my brain immediately starts shrieking JOE FLACCO whenever it reads “Delaware.”
In Game 1 of the series, Alderman hit a ball with an exit velocity of 109 MPH. In Game 2, he dropped off to an atrocious 107 MPH. And then there was Game 3.
I mean, sweet mercy:
Top Exit Velos from Today’s Game:@KempAlderman - 116 mph@KempAlderman - 116 mph@KempAlderman - 112 mph@KempAlderman - 110 mph@jakegonzalez717 - 105 mph— Ole Miss BSB Analytics (@OMBSBAnalytics) February 19, 2023
IN ONE GAME.
It should be noted that the 112 MPH exit velocity occurred on his home run, which only traveled 363 feet because the launch angle was low. Like in Omaha, if that angle were higher, the ball would’ve skipped across University Avenue and into the front door of the Ford Center.
Shouting about exit velocity numbers is fun, but let’s give that context. As the tweet below notes, a metal bat is involved, as well as the GOT DANG JOE BIDEN LIBERAL DELAWARE AGENDA. However, this level of exit velocity doesn’t happen.
this from @OleMissBSB OF Kemp Alderman is absolutely ridiculous— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) February 21, 2023
metal bats and other caveats aside...
4 batted balls w/ 110+ MPH exit velos IN THE SAME GAME has only happened TWICE in the Statcast Era in MLB:
Aaron Judge in '22
Giancarlo Stanton in '15pic.twitter.com/MWb5HFxN6R https://t.co/7Axe3IR0KG
So, you know, doing things (with help!) two of the best power hitters in professional baseball have done, but they’ve only done once each in their last 7 seasons. Normal activity and such.
Obviously, the level of competition will increase, but Alderman, who flexed his power against the best of the best in Omaha*, is demonstrating that smashing the shit out of the baseball is a thing that could continue throughout 2023.
*Minus Tennessee. Unclear why they didn’t get to Omaha. They should have simply won all of their necessary postseason games. Not that difficult!
I, for one, would like to see these exit velocity speeds continue or increase (if possible; I do not do physics) while Alderman terrorizes every team on the schedule. And Lord have mercy on those teams when the launch angle hits 20 degrees or higher.