A little less than a month ago, I wrote a post about how David Freese inexplicably had the hardest hit ball in all of last year and this year. A few weeks later, I checked the leaderboard again and Luis Valbuena had passed him with a 124.2 mph hit. Now I checked again today, and both of those hits have been taken off the leaderboard and Giancarlo Stanton has resumed his place on top.
Unfortunately, I didn't save a screenshot of the website when Freese was at the top. I tried using the Wayback Machine, but the formatting of the table seems to trick the Wayback Machine into not actually displaying what was in the table on a particular day, so I suppose this information will be lost to the annals of internet history. If you check Baseball Savant, Freese's hit isn't listed there, but Valbuena's is. Furthermore, Williams Perez has topped Valbuena on this leaderboard with a hit of 133.8 mph, which seems ludicrous since Perez is a pitcher who only has 5 plate appearances this year.
Is this some sort of a conspiracy by MLB to try to get big names like Stanton and Carlos Correa at the top of the leaderboard? Or maybe my article made them reevaluate what criteria they use in measuring the velocity? That seems unlikely, as the top 5 hardest hit balls all have negative exit angles, just like Freese's hit. This is a mildly interesting development in Statcast numbers and I'm sure if Freese knew his record was taken away, he would be very disappointed.