2013 Home Run Derby Participants: Breaking Down Favorites from Both Sides
Seven of the MLB's most prolific home run hitters have been cast for the 2013 Home Run Derby. While one American League contestant has yet to be named, it's clear that the current group will provide us with a night to remember.
The question is, who are both side's favorites entering the event?
There are numerous ways to determine who the favorite is entering the event, with statistics and a study of recent history each serving as means for evaluation. More times than not, players rise up to surprise us with their production.
Fortunately, there are ways to project what will happen in 2013.
Certain players have established themselves as premier power hitters, ranking among the league's elite in home runs hit. Others may lack the production we've come to expect of them but have dominated this event in the past.
One way or another, we have ourselves some favorites.
AL Favorite: Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
Position: First Baseman
HRD Experience: 2007, 2009 (Won), 2011 & 2012 (Won)
2013 Season Statistics
.264/.362/.457, 45 R, 21 2B, 15 HR, 66 RBI
This may come as a surprise, as it's Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis that leads the MLB with 33 home runs. What may be even more surprising is that Davis has 18 more long bombs than Prince Fielder.
With that being said, Fielder is one of two players in MLB history to win the Home Run Derby multiple times.
Fielder took home the gold in 2009 and 2012, pulling him within one win of tying Ken Griffey Jr. of the most Home Run Derby titles ever. While Davis may have the most powerful bat in baseball, stepping up and thriving in this event is different from any regular season at-bat.
Fielder has mastered the art of the Home Run Derby smash, while Davis is a rookie in the event.
Davis may rise up and win big, but Fielder is the player that has established a reputation as the modern day king of the competition. Until he's dethroned, the reigning champion will remain the favorite to emerge from the American League and win in 2013.
Apologies to Davis, but two titles owns none every single time.
NL Favorite: Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
Position: Left Fielder
HRD Experience: 2012
2013 Season Statistics
.304/.369/.619, 66 R, 22 2B, 6 3B, 24 HR, 63 RBI
The National League appears to be a two-man race between Carlos Gonzalez and hometown hero David Wright. Gonzalez is the NL's premier home run hitter, while Wright is an experienced player in this event.
As nice of a story as Wright would be, Gonzalez is the favorite in this one.
Both players have just one year of Home Run Derby experience, which throws that factor out of the window. What is important to note is that Wright is far from a prolific home run hitter, and while he thrived in his lone appearance in this competition, Gonzalez is purely on fire.
He currently leads the National League with 24 home runs.
Gonzalez has no trouble hitting for power, posting a slugging percentage of .619. Only Davis and Miguel Cabrera are higher than him in that regard, which isn't quite a product of the favorable ballpark Gonzalez plays in.
The 27-year-old has more home runs, 13, on the road than he does at Coors Field—a truth that will be on full display at Citi Field.
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