WATCH: Stanton records hardest-hit ball in Statcast history and didn't even reach base

The slump struggle is real for Giancarlo Stanton. USATSI

Let's play a game. Below are three statements, two of them are factual. Your job is to figure out which one is not:

  1. Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins played against the Brewers on Thursday night;
  2. Stanton recorded the hardest-hit ball in the Statcast era (123.9 mph, for the detail-orientated)
  3. Stanton grounded into a double play on that ball.

This might surprise you -- or not, if you have experience with this hackneyed setup -- but the incorrect statement is No. 1. That's right, Stanton did set a new Statcast record for highest exit velocity, and yes, the end result was a 4-6-3 DP -- he just did it against the Twins, not the Brewers. Here's the visual:

For what it's worth, Stanton was the previous record holder for hardesr-hit ball in the Statcast era. A single in May 2015 against the Dodgers was clocked at 120.3 mph. Here's footage:

While that has to be a bummer for Stanton, it's bully for the rest of us. Stanton's well-struck double-play ball reminds us that exit velocity isn't the end-all, be-all -- the holy grail of baseball analytics, if you will. Context matters, context which so often gets ignored in cases like these.

Think of it this way: if we were as monomaniacal about launch angle, or launch direction, or hang time -- or any number of other recorded aspects from Stanton's batted ball -- as we are about exit velocity, then this wouldn't even be a noteworthy occasion. Rather, this would be shrugged off as a forgettable double play from the late stages of a boat race.

So moving forward, we should always keep in mind to be mindful when handling statistics -- even those new, scientific-sounding ones.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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