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The five longest White Sox home runs of 2015

The dingers are shorter this season, but Jose Abreu preserves some dignity for the leaderboard

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Between the size of the swings and the size of their home ballpark, the White Sox really don't have a good excuse for finishing last in the league in homers.

Yet ... that really happened in 2015. The White Sox totaled a pitiful 136 dingers, three behind the Royals and good for sole possession of last place in the American League. The Phillies, Braves and Marlins all finished with fewer in the National League, but it doesn't do the Sox any favors to compare them to three tanking teams with no DH.

Moreover, 136 homers is the lowest single-season output since 1992. Even then, the Sox had three players with more than 15 homers that season. In 2015, Jose Abreu hit 30, and Adam Eaton was second with 14.

So, this annual exercise in tracking White Sox homers has a smaller sample to draw from, and so it's a little lacking in top-heaviness.  I won't spoil the top of this year's leaderboard, but I'll hint that the top homer doesn't match up against the leaders from the three previous seasons.

  • 2014: Avisail Garcia, 468 feet
  • 2013: Adam Dunn, 462 feet
  • 2012: Adam Dunn, 460 feet

But before we get to this year's top five, let's mention a few of the team's most extreme dingers in other regards, according to Hit Tracker Online.

Shortest home run: 341 feet, Tyler Flowers off Anibal Sanchez on June 26. (Video | Data)

Everybody was surprised to see this one go out the opposite way at Comerica Park. Flowers, Sanchez, J.D. Martinez, Hawk Harrelson, everybody.

Slowest home run: 93.7 mph, Alexei Ramirez off Kelvin Herrera on July 18. (Video | Data)

Probably should've been robbed. Thank goodness Alex Rios doesn't have a whole lot of experience in right at U.S. Cellular Field.

Highest home run: 44.3-degree elevation angle, Flowers off Danny Duffy on April 8. (Video | Data)

Flowers had this by more than two whole degrees.

Lowest home run: 19-degree elevation angle, Geovany Soto off Mike Pelfrey on April 11. (Video | Data)

As you might expect, Garcia and his lack of loft finished second, third and fifth in this category.

Now, on to the big blasts, two of which were hit by a guy who wasn't in the organization for the first five months of the season.

No. 5: Mike Olt off Sean Nolin

Date: Sept. 17 | Distance: 444 feet | Speed off bat: 113.4 mph

Last year, Grant Brisbee called U.S. Cellular Field the least impressive home run park in baseball, in that there are very few markers in the outfield that make a home run aesthetically impressive. Outside of Jim Thome clearing the batter's eye in the Blackout Game, a concourse shot is as good as it gets.

No. 4: Mike Olt off Cody Martin

Date: Sept. 16Distance: 448 feet | Speed off bat: 104.5 mph

Here's a better example of what Brisbee was talking about. A day earlier, Olt went four feet longer. But this one made a lesser impression because it merely reached halfway up some bleachers just left of center.

No. 3: Melky Cabrera off David Price

Date: June 28 Distance: 450 feet | Speed off bat: 115.2 mph

Cabrera went down to get this Price changeup, and it wasn't an ordinary golf shot. Instead, it ended up being the fastest White Sox home run by a year, and with a cushion of 1.4 mph.

No. 2: Adam LaRoche off Greg Holland

Date: Aug. 7 | Distance: 452 feet | Speed off bat: 108.8 mph

This distance held the top spot for nearly a month, and that would've been a deflating way to end this post. I mean, he got all of this one, but I can't imagine White Sox fans really want to celebrate any of LaRoche's few feats. This annual tradition is supposed to be an exercise in fun, but it would've ended with a joke about how Holland probably went on the disabled list a month too late.

No. 1: Jose Abreu off Jeremy Guthrie

Date: Sept. 4Distance: 453 feet | Speed off bat: 109.6 mph

Fortunately, Pito came up with an extra foot to leave the audience cheering, taking Guthrie way out to Kauffman Stadium's center field. This is my favorite kind of Abreu homer, because its sound is distinct, but not in a classic way. When Miguel Cabrera hits one to the further reaches of a ballpark, the crack catches your ear and signals immediate doom. But the sound of Abreu's best contact is often a softer thud, like he hit it with the sweet spot of a railroad tie.

The ball's flight has a similar effect, as outfielders tend to track it longer than other sluggers' no-doubters. But once you learn that sound, the response is instinctual. It's always fun to know something before everybody else does, even if only for a few seconds.

Jose Abreu Guy GIF