Home Run Derby 2013: Players Who Will Disappoint With Poor Showing
Everyone gets excited about watching their favorite star in the Home Run Derby, but it becomes even more disappointing when that player struggles.
Robinson Cano has run fans through the gamut of emotions in just two years. After winning it all in 2011, he was unable to hit a single home run in 2012 as captain of the American League.
He should be able to bounce back in his home city, but struggling to come through in this event is a common story. Other players like Brandon Inge, Jason Bay and Bret Boone also failed to hit one out and finished with zero home runs.
While most contestants should expect to at least hit a couple, the following men will likely struggle at this year's Home Run Derby.
Michael Cuddyer has always been a solid hitter, but he is having one of the best years of his career with the Colorado Rockies this season. He is currently second in the National League with a .338 batting average and recently ended a 27-game hitting streak.
Unfortunately, he has never truly been an elite power hitter. Only three times in his 13-year career has he topped 20 home runs.
Although Cuddyer does have 15 home runs this year, nine of them came in the hitter-friendly environment of Coors Field. He will not have that advantage with the derby taking place in Citi Field.
When asked about the pick, captain David Wright admitted to ESPN that his "friendship had something to do with it," as the two have known each other for a long time. Unfortunately, this will not help Cuddyer when the competition starts.
While Prince Fielder is easily the most experienced player in this competition with titles in 2009 and 2012, he also has some poor showings on his record.
The slugger was far from reaching the finals in 2011, and he managed to hit only three long balls in 2007.
This season, Fielder has generally struggled and is only tied for 24th in the majors in home runs with 15. A couple of those shots would not have even been out at Citi Field, which is one of the toughest hitters' parks in the league.
Throughout his career, the first baseman has been an all-or-nothing type of hitter. In reality, this is what you will get at the derby. He will either compete for the championship, or he will crash and burn in the first round.
Even though he is the captain for the NL team and will be playing in front of his home crowd, it is entirely possible that Wright does not even want to win.
The last time the New York Mets third baseman competed in this event was 2006, and he got off to a huge start with 16 home runs in the first round. Unfortunately, he fell apart down the stretch and was eventually defeated by Ryan Howard.
However, the larger problem was what followed. After hitting 20 home runs before the All-Star break, he only hit six the rest of the year. It was clear that he had adjusted his swing in the contest and struggled to get his form back when the games mattered.
Wright knows how to put on a good show and he will do his best to keep fans happy, but he will not be upset about an early exit so he can get back to his normal play.
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