Home Run Derby 2012 Time: Predicting Each Participant's Performance

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIJuly 8, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 8: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants during the game on July 8, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pirates defeated the Giants 13-2. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Robinson Cano, Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder and Jose Bautista will tee off for the American League against the National League team of Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Beltran and Andrew McCutchen, who will replace Giancarlo Stanton.

You never know exactly what you might get in the Home Run Derby in terms of who is going to go long ball happy and who is going to turn in a stinker. What we do know though, is that there are going to be some mammoth homers launched into the night.

Here we'll try to predict the performance of each participant.


American League

Robinson Cano

The New York Yankees' second baseman has one of the sweetest swings in baseball and is the returning champion after edging out Adrian Gonzalez by one homer in the final round.

Kauffman Stadium is virtually symmetrical, so there's not really any advantage in being a righty or a lefty in this particular competition.

He has 20 home runs on the season, including a season-long 440-foot go-ahead shot to center against the New York Mets.

Anybody can come out of the A.L. side, so expect Cano to reach double digits at the very least.


Mark Trumbo

Trumbo is probably the biggest surprise in this competition, but that's just because he's surrounded by such high-caliber power hitters in this competition. Speaking of power hitters, Trumbo is quickly becoming one of the strongest hitters in the entire league.

He's hit 22 homers in 77 games for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, including 17 over 400 feet. His longest of the year was a 459-foot shot, the 15th-longest in the majors this season.

Trumbo is the dark horse of the A.L. group, and will surprise some people in this competition.


Prince Fielder

Any time Prince Fielder is in the Home Run Derby, the fans at home have to be delighted. He hits some of the most impressive shots of anybody in the majors and swings inexplicably hard.

He owns the 24th-longest homer in the big leagues this season at 456 feet. Fielder only has 15 homers this season, but is likely to equal that total on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Fielder is one of the most prolific power hitters in the game, but he's not going to fare so well on Monday.


Jose Bautista

"Joey Bats" only hit four bombs in the entire competition in 2011 but is tied for the major league lead with 27 home runs in 85 games.

His longest homer of the season traveled 455 feet on June 28. Look for him to finish among the top of the field after a less than impressive 2011 performance.


National League

Matt Kemp

Kemp is one of the best all-around hitters in the game when he's healthy. He swatted 12 homers in just 36 games before he went down with a hamstring injury.

The Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder hit just a pair of homers in the 2011 competition. He'll do better than that, but he won't be able to compete with the big boys in the contest because of his lingering hamstring injury.


Carlos Gonzalez

You can try to blame Carlos Gonzalez's success on the thin air at Coors Field, but the fact of the matter is that this guy can rake.

He has 17 homers this season, including a 445-foot effort. His last home run came on June 15 against the Detroit Tigers.

It's never good to come into this competition cold in terms of homers, but Gonzalez will be able to overcome his recent shortcomings and put on a nice show.


Carlos Beltran

The elder statesman on this N.L. roster, Carlos Beltran is second behind Ryan Braun with 20 homers on the N.L. leaderboards.

He's having a season for the ages after signing with the St. Louis Cardinals during the offseason. He has the 10th-longest home run this season at 464 feet.

Beltran's going to have a great derby in his return home to Kansas City after playing six full seasons with the Royals from 1998 to 2004.


Andrew McCutchen

McCutchen will definitely be one of the fan favorites in this competition. He's leading the Pittsburgh Pirates in their best season in 20 years, en route to hitting 18 home runs.

He's young, but McCutchen is going to relish in the limelight and play into the later stages of the 2012 Home Run Derby.

All home run distances via hittrackeronline.com.


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