May 19, 2024

Baltimore Orioles’ shortstop Gunnar Henderson showcased his power on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels, launching a solo home run, marking his eighth of the season. Henderson began the game by drawing a walk after being hit by a pitch, setting the stage for his memorable at-bat in the third inning.

Facing Angels’ pitcher Tyler Anderson, Henderson capitalized on an outside cutter, driving the ball 379 feet over the right-center field wall with an exit velocity of 98.9 miles per hour and a launch angle of 31 degrees. This impressive feat brought Henderson’s season total to eight home runs and 18 RBIs.

Gunnar Henderson named American League Rookie of the Year - The Selma  Times‑Journal | The Selma Times‑Journal

Henderson’s eight homers in the team’s first 25 games of the season set a franchise record for players aged 22 or younger, surpassing the Orioles’ historical data spanning 71 seasons and the St. Louis Browns’ 52 seasons.

Even with one more game to play after Wednesday’s matchup, Henderson’s record-breaking performance stands out. He continued to contribute throughout the game, hitting a leadoff double in the fifth inning and adding an RBI single in the sixth, along with another hit-by-pitch in the eighth.

With a batting average of .309 and an OPS of 1.022 for the season, Henderson’s offensive prowess has been instrumental for the Orioles. His consistent performance has propelled him to second place on the team in wins above replacement (WAR), with the potential to surpass third baseman Jordan Westburg in the rankings.

Having begun the 2023 season as the top prospect in baseball, Henderson has quickly established himself as a key player for the Orioles. His impressive rookie campaign earned him the American League Rookie of the Year award and a Silver Slugger, highlighted by his .255 batting average, 28 home runs, 82 RBIs, .814 OPS, and a 6.2 WAR in 150 games.

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