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Lighter bat means farther homers for Stanton

Lighter bat means farther homers for Stanton

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Lighter bat means farther homers for Stanton

WASHINGTON -- The lighter the bat, the farther the home runs for Giancarlo Stanton.

The Marlins' slugger, an imposing 6-foot-5, 250-pounder, clubbed his towering 463-foot home run on Wednesday at Philadelphia with a comparatively light bat.

To increase bat speed, Stanton uses a 34-inch, 32-ounce bat. Occasionally, the Miami slugger will drop weight to even 31 ounces, depending on the feel.

"I'd rather have a quicker bat," Stanton said. "The heavier it is, the harder it will be to get to [the pitch]."

A year ago, when Stanton belted 37 home runs, he pretty much stayed with the same bat size.

"People always say, 'I thought you swung a 36 or something,'" Stanton said.

Bat speed often separates power hitters.

In a flash at Citizens Bank Park, Stanton launched a drive that landed on the concourse, just in front of the Planet Hoagie food stand.

According to ESPN's Hit Tracker site, Stanton's blast was estimated at 463 feet. The Marlins slugger is a bit miffed by that estimate, because it is 23 feet shy of a similar drive by Atlanta's Evan Gattis at Philadelphia on Sept. 8.

Gattis' shot was more to dead center, while Stanton's was shaded toward left-center.

Hit Tracker had Gattis' homer at 486 feet.

Stanton joked about having a recount on the two homers, because both were on the concourse, and the bleachers actually extended deeper to where his home run landed. Now, they also take into account wind, which was factored into Gattis' homer.

From his perspective the home run Stanton felt was his longest this year was his first, a drive over the auxiliary scoreboard down the left-field line at Marlins Park.

That shot, on April 27, was estimated at 440 feet.

Stanton feels he is able to create the distance because he uses a lighter bat.

"Sometimes it is more feel too," he said. "Sometimes a 33-ounce bat will feel like 32. It's just how it's balanced out. I don't care if it is 35 ounces, it is how it feels in the hand."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less

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