Not only is he coming into the 2012 Home Run Derby tied for the lead in home runs, Jose Bautista is also coming off an unbelievable June that will make him unstoppable at this competition.
Last month, Bautista knocked 14 balls out of the park to bring his home run total on the season up to 27.
He also put up 30 RBI in that same amount of time, batted with a .271 average and was able to finish the month with a slugging percentage of .750.
There is no denying that Bautista is swinging a very hot bat at the moment. But that is not all that will help him en route to gaining the 2012 Home Run Derby title.
Bautista has one of the sweetest and most powerful swings in all of baseball. With a pitcher pitching him balls how he wants—at slower speeds—there is no reason why Bautista can not turn on them fast when he sees one coming into his sweet spot.
If he takes his time and waits on the pitches he likes, Bautista will surely surpass his total from last year's Home Run Derby.
As a first-time entrant into the Derby last year, Bautista failed miserably—even though he came into it leading the MLB in home runs with 31.
That, however, is understandable. It was Bautista's first time ever being in the competition—let alone an All-Star game. He was soaking up the moment and this time around it will be different.
Who will be crowned the champion at the 2012 Home Run Derby?
For the unlikely route that Bautista took to get where he is today, winning the 2012 Home Run Derby would be icing on the cake. To be crowned the champion of the competition should be something that Bautista strives for.
For any doubters, it will be something else he can hold above them.
Finishing with only four home runs last year and not advancing out of the first round, Bautista can only get better this year—or so his fans hope.
Bautista is dangerous with his bat, and that will be on full display once the Derby gets going on Monday, July 8.
Pitchers who can throw the ball at speeds over 90 miles per hour are afraid of how dangerous Bautista can be when he steps into the batter's box.
His speed and power with his bat will allow him to work any part of the field he wants come Monday. With pitches coming in with considerably less velocity than he is used to he should be able to really get hold of the ball.
All in all, for a player that hit 54 home runs in 2010 and 43 last year, this Home Run Derby is the time for Bautista to bring that type of power to the plate.
After a remarkable June, his confidence should be sky-high coming into the competition. He should have gotten rid of the nerves that he experienced last year, and that will mean his swing will be free to knock out more than just four home runs.
This is the year for the scorching Jose Bautista to break out at the Derby. With everything indicating that he should be the favorite in the competition, there is no other way to describe him than unstoppable.