Mariners marvel at Branyan's hang time
Towering homers becoming trademark for slugger
LOS ANGELES -- A typical Russell Branyan home run has more than distance. It has altitude and a lot of it."If every punter got the kind of hang time Russell gets on his home runs," Mariners pitcher Jarrod Washburn said, "they would be happy. There is no one in this league even close to his height. His homers are way higher. It's awesome."
Branyan hit his 19th home run of the season on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, and it seemed to go almost as high as it did far. The ball was in the air for 7.2 seconds from blastoff to touchdown."They are mammoth, I know that," batting coach Alan Cockrell said. "You don't see guys hit the ball as high as he does. I mean, even balls that he just misses, it's a different sound coming off his bat." The "crack" of the bat is more like a resounding "thud" when Branyan makes contact. He has made solid contact so many times so far this season that he leads the team in home runs and went into Sunday's series finale tied with Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay for third place in the American League home run derby. The next home run Branyan hits will tie his single-season high, set in 2001 with the Indians. And it probably will be real high and real deep.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.