2012 Home Run Derby Contestants: Stars Who Will Not Advance Past First Round

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 09:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after striking out swinging against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on May 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The home run derby is always an exciting exhibition of power the night before the MLB All-Star Game, but not every contestant performs well.

Every year there is a player or two who simply cannot get into a rhythm before they use up their outs and are eliminated.

This year, there is a loaded field full of contestants from each league. Captains Robinson Cano and Matt Kemp were given the opportunity to choose their team, and the players did not disappoint in their selections.


American League

Robinson Cano, New York Yankees

Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers

Mark Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels

Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays


National League

Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers

Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies

Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals

Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates


These groups feature a few players with enough experience to ensure they will have a quality outing. Unfortunately, these men will have a hard time reaching the second round.


Matt Kemp

The Dodgers star and MVP candidate has been out since May with an injured hamstring, and has only played in two games almost two months. Even though he will not be a real contender in the competition, it is borderline irresponsible for Kemp to participate in the derby.

The fact that he is not up to game speed could mean an even worse showing than the two home runs he hit last year.


Carlos Gonzalez

Even with 77 home runs in the last two and a half years, Carlos Gonzalez is not truly a power hitter. He has shown during his time in Colorado that he is a great line drive hitter, but the thin air in Denver allows the ball to get over the wall.

In the last four years, Gonzalez has twice as many home runs at Coors Field than he has on the road. 

When he gets to Kansas City, the ball will simply not have enough to leave the park.


Prince Fielder

Even with 15 home runs and a solid .299 batting average, Prince Fielder is having one of the worst years of his professional career.

He is walking less than usual, which is a sign that he is not seeing the ball as well as before. Concerning the derby, he is also hitting home runs at the extremely low rate. This season, Fielder is only hitting home runs every 21.4 at bats, the lowest mark of any full season in his career. 

The big first baseman can still hit it out of any park in the country, but this year he has struggled to get his timing down, which might hurt in the derby.


Mark Trumbo

This young outfielder might be the most underrated player in baseball right now. Trumbo had an amazing rookie year with the Angels and is building off those numbers in his sophomore campaign this year.

Unfortunately, inexperienced players never seem to do well in the home run derby. Whether it is the national attention or the pressure of performing, it is unlikely for a second-year player to have a successful run.

Trumbo has a great career ahead of him, but the local hero has not had to do much on the big stage so far. There will be no shame in a bad outing on Monday.