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Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper hits fastest home run of his career

By
Alex Butler

June 16 (UPI) -- Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper hit his hardest home run in the Statcast era Thursday against the New York Mets.

Harper was at the dish in the first inning during the play.

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He settled in against Mets righty Robert Gsellman. He earned a 3-1 count before getting the green light. Harper connected with Gsellman's next offering, pulling it to right field. His 405-foot mash smashed off of the concrete wall above the section of fans and ricocheted back onto the field at Citi Field.

Harper's hit gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead. The 92 mph fastball left the park at 116.3 mph, his hardest measured long ball in the Statcast era. Aaron Judge has five out of the top six home runs this season when it comes to exit velocity. Judge also has nine of the top 15 fastest long balls. Judge's dinger from last week left the park at 121.1 mph, the fastest this year.

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Chicago White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia holds the Statcast record for exit velocity. His April 2016 home run off of Baltimore Orioles righty Tyler Wilson left Oriole Park at Camden Yards at 125.2 mph. The Statcast era began during the 2015 season.

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ESPN's home run tracker measured Harper's speed off of the bat at 117 mph.

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Harper I snow hitting .314 on the season with 17 home runs and 50 RBI. He was 1-for-4 Thursday with an RBI, a walk and a strikeout. The Nationals won the contest 8-3 for its second win in its last seven games.

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