Home Run Derby 2012: Predicting Winner and Standout Performers
This feels like Jose Bautista's time to shine in the Home Run Derby. Most of us still dig the long ball, but in this pitching-dominated era of baseball, we're not seeing the huge numbers we did say 10 or 15 years ago—except for from Bautista.
The era makes what Bautista has done over the past three years even more remarkable. He has jacked 124 home runs in the past two-and-a-half seasons, and he's on pace to hit near 50 again this year.
If he hits 43 home runs, which is very possible considering he already has 27, he will have averaged 50 per season over a three-year period.
That is big-time in any era, but especially over these last three seasons.
Because of this, he has to be on a short list of favorites for the derby. Last year he didn't do well. He hit only four, but I expect him to build on the experience, and he's my pick to win.
Here is the entire field:
|José Bautista||Blue Jays|
Bautista hits a ton of homers, but how about the player who will put on the best show.
Most Entertaining: Prince Fielder
Who will win the HR Derby?
Fielder isn't my pick to win the contest, but from a sheer power standpoint, not many can match him. Look for Prince to hit some majestic shots that draw the most "oohs" and "aahs."
He doesn't hit many cheap homers—and that's in games—so I wouldn't expect his shots to scrape the back of the outfield fence in the contest.
Who will have us wondering why they even showed up for this event?
Biggest Flop: Matt Kemp
Kemp is the best player in the world, and a competitor, but sometimes really good hitters don't shine in the contest. If I were running the Dodgers I'd be trying to strongly discourage Kemp from even competing, given his recent injuries.
Kemp is taking the competition very seriously, and that's great for the fans, but he'll likely be pressing and that isn't good for performance.
I predict he won't make it out of the first round.
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