Well isn’t this a sight for sore eyes? Yeah, well with the World Cup over, and literally every other sport currently in the off-season, that means that we get to bring back more baseball articles. I apologize for not making more baseball articles, but when you have the choice to write about the World Cup or baseball, the choice is going to be very easy and the same every time, the World Cup. But hey, baseball is great too, and to get back into the swing of things (baseball pun), we will take it easy and do a short little predictions article on the Home Run Derby. Besides for the slam dunk contest, this is usually the all-star event on everyone’s lips, therefore we will see who the top player is in each league, which league will be the better league, and finally who will win it.
Top League: NL
Alright, so to start off with, we have the league that I think will be the more entertaining of the two. For those of you that do not know what is going on this year, the MLB changed up the format for the Home Run Derby to a head-to-head, bracket style format. AL players will be pitted against AL players, and NL players will be up against NL players. Whomever wins the match up will move on to face the other winner and so on. Eventually, you will be left with one AL slugger and one NL masher to go head-to-head for the Home Run Derby crown. So therefore, this is not a prediction on which league will win, but rather which will be more entertaining and competitive. On paper, and hopefully in reality, the NL will easily be the more entertaining of the two. With a line up that features Troy Tulowitzki, Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig, Todd Frazier, and Justin Morneau they easily trump the AL line up. The NL line up currently has 86 dingers, to the AL’s 85. On paper they are close, but I believe with the easy fastballs, down the middle it will be a lights out slug fest on the NL side.
Top AL Slugger: José Bautista
Okay, first up we have the winner of the AL, and I am going with my guy José Bautista. José may not be the leader on his team right now in gopher ball’s, but anyone who knows about baseball knows that José can crush them like any other. Brian Dozier and Josh Donaldson are good at hitting tater’s, but I feel that they will not have as good a night hitting moon shots because they will be caught up with the whole affair and will be more star struck than focused on the task at hand. Adam Jones will have a very good outing, but he will fall short in getting the ball to leave the park. This brings us to José’s main competition, the 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Céspedes. Céspedes is extremely good at hitting long balls, but I think in an all out slug fest, I would much rather have Bautista on my side who has been there before, has more strength, and has led the league in jacks two times in the past. Therefore, with all this being said, I choosing José Bautista for the AL Champion.
Top NL Slugger AND WINNER: Giancarlo Stanton
Okay, I might be a little bias because of my love affair with Giancarlo Stanton, but at least it makes sense! Not only am I picking Stanton to win the NL, but I am also picking him to win it all. Again, anyone who knows baseball, knows that Stanton just wallop’s balls like its his job (and it is!) Since Stanton came into the league, no one has hit the ball farther than he has. Not only that, but the guy crushes balls 500 ft and makes it look easy. Sure in the NL you have Tulowitzki and Morneau, but Morneau does not really hit missile’s anymore and Tulo is very much a product of the stadium he plays in. Puig is good, but he hits more laser’s than high-risers, which is why he won’t be going that far into the competition. Frazier can hit a mean bomb, but he will be no competition for Stanton. Stanton the other day was practicing for the Home Run Derby during batting practice and he was giving all the fans a 450 ft souvenir and he did it with such ease, that it was scary. Baseball fans everywhere have been waiting a long time for this moment, to see Stanton strut his stuff in the Home Run Derby, he should be considered the favor coming in, and he should be disappointed with anything short of not winning the crown.
Thanks for reading!
All stats and information courtesy of espn.com and depressedfan.com