Back, back, back…and it’s Prince Fielder who fended off Jose Bautista to win the 2012 MLB Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Fielder crushed 12 home runs in the finals, giving him 28 for the entire competition. Bautista was only able to muster seven in the decisive round.
Fielder’s 12 homers in the finals were the most ever by a contestant, breaking Robinson Cano’s record of 11 set last year.
It was the Detroit Tigers slugger's second derby title after capturing the crown as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009. He joins Ken Griffey, Jr. as the event's only multiple-time winners. Fielder, however, holds the distinction of being the only player to win the award as a member of both the American and National Leagues.
He now has 63 home runs in four appearances at the derby, ranking him fifth on the all-time list.
The night didn’t begin very smoothly for Fielder, who was the last contestant to advance past the first round after smashing only five long balls.
Fielder really started heating up in Round 2, though, where he smacked 11 dingers to give him 16 for the night. Four of those went over 458 feet, with the longest clocking in at 475.
He seemed to only get more warmed up as the night went on, and his performance in the finals was certainly one for the ages.
The other big highlight of the night came when Cano was up in Round 1. The captain of the AL side was showered with boos throughout the duration of his turn presumably for failing to pick Kansas City Royal Billy Butler to participate in the contest. The booing must have gotten to Cano, the 2011 champ, who finished with zero home runs in the contest.
Still, this was Prince Fielder’s night, and Monday was further proof that he is one of the greatest power hitters of the past decade.
Prince Fielder: 5/11/12=28
Jose Bautista: 11/2*/7=21
Mark Trumbo: 7/6=13
Carlos Beltran: 7/5=12
Carlos Gonzalez: 4
Andrew McCutchen: 4
Matt Kemp: 1
Robinson Cano: 0
*Bautista won swing-off over Trumbo to reach finals