Tigers' Willi Castro hits 458-foot homer on first pitch of spring training

March 1 (UPI) -- Detroit Tigers infielder Willi Castro hit the first pitch he saw at spring training deep to right center field for a 458-foot solo home run in a lopsided win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The smash came in the bottom of the first inning of the 10-2 victory Sunday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla.


Phillies center fielder Adam Haseley also hit a home run in the Phillies' first at-bat of the spring. Haseley hit his solo shot on the second pitch of the game, which came from Tigers starter Tyler Alexander. That home run traveled 396 feet.

Alexander then escaped the half-inning without allowing another run. Castro stepped up to the plate to leadoff the bottom of the first frame for the Tigers.

Phillies starter Ivan Nova tossed in a 93.8-mph fastball for his lone offering of the quick exchange. Castro jumped all over the pitch and easily cleared the outfield fence. The ball then hit a building that is part of the Tigers' spring training facility.

"Offensively, the ball sounds a little different off his [Castro's] bat, in a good way," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch told reporters. "And he's got some interesting characteristics on how he hits the ball hard."


Castro's homer had an exit velocity of 110.6 mph, according to Statcast.

The Tigers went on to add five more runs in the inning. Tigers teammates Daniel Pinero and Eric Haase also hit solo home runs in the victory.

Castro went 1 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored for Detroit. The shortstop and third baseman hit a career-high .349 with six home runs and 24 RBIs in 36 games last season. He finished fourth in American League Rookie of the Year voting.

The Tigers face the New York Yankees in their second spring training game at 1:05 p.m. EST Monday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.

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