The MLB All-Star Game will likely feature plenty of excitement, but a lot of the excitement will be on Monday in the Home Run Derby, thanks to all of the big sluggers that will be participating.
Among the players participating in this event include a guy that was a rookie sensation last season, the reigning Triple Crown winner and a slugger that’s on pace for over 60 home runs.
All of these power hitters have a reason for being here, so let’s break down each and every hitter that will be swinging for the fences during Monday’s event.
Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
The Yankees have struggled staying healthy all season, but Cano has been able to stay on the field and continue to make big plays.
If Cano continues to play like he has this season, he will be on pace to have the most home runs in a season of his career. Through 93 games, he’s already hit 21 home runs to go along with 53 runs. He’s batting .301 and slugging .535 heading into the All-Star break.
The 2011 Home Run Derby champion will be looking to take home his second title in the event, but it will certainly be an uphill battle this season.
Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
Of all of the contestants in this year’s event, Fielder is one of the favorites to win.
He may not be having the best season this year, but Fielder is still putting up big numbers. He has 16 home runs through 92 games and is hitting .270 for the year. His slugging percentage of .463 is the second-lowest mark of his career, just five points ahead of his rookie season in 2005 at .458.
Still, you have to like the two-time champion on Monday. He knows how to win the event, and he’ll be looking to have back-to-back titles for the first time since Ken Griffey Jr. back in 1998 and 1999.
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the league’s leader in home runs so far in 2013.
If you haven’t heard by now, Davis is pretty good at hitting the long ball. Not only does he lead the majors with 36 home runs, he’s also boasting a crazy slugging percentage of .702 while driving in 88 runs.
It’s hard to believe that Davis is on pace for over 60 home runs, but as long as he keeps hitting the ball into the stands, then he’ll certainly be the guy to watch for during the Home Run Derby, as well as the rest of the season.
Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics
The Athletics haven’t gotten a lot of love this season, but they’re still one of the top teams in the majors, leading the AL West.
Leading the way for the A’s has been Cespedes, providing plenty of pop in the batting order. In 77 games, he has 15 home runs. That may not sound like a lot, but remember that this is only his second year in the majors, and he’s got a slugging percentage of .419 while only batting .219.
Cespedes won’t be the favorite to take home the title this season, but he will hopefully be able to show everyone that the Athletics deserve some more love this year.
David Wright, New York Mets
Some will say that Wright earned a spot in the event solely because the All-Star break is being held at Citi Field, and that may be true to a degree, but Wright is still a respectable hitter that can drive it deep.
Sure, Wright only has 13 home runs, but his slugging percentage of .518 is his highest since 2008, back when he had 33 home runs by the end of the year. He’s making good contact on the ball, and if he stays healthy all year, there’s a chance that he could break over 30 home runs for the third time in his career.
The fans will be rooting for Wright on Monday, but there are still a lot of other sluggers to look for.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
The rookie phenom from last season has been having another great season, and his popularity will bring in plenty of viewers for the Home Run Derby.
Injuries have kept Harper off of the field for a bit of this season, but through 56 games, he already has 13 home runs. Had he stayed healthy, he could’ve been on pace for nearly 40 home runs this season.
Funny to think that 40 home runs doesn’t seem as exciting this year thanks to Davis’ pace of 60 dingers.
There are a lot of fans that will be watching and rooting for Harper this year, and a title on Monday would make a number of people, including Harper, very happy.
Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies
At 34 years old, Cuddyer is easily having one of his best seasons of his career. Not only is he seeing the ball well, but he’s also hitting plenty of home runs.
In 72 games this year, Cuddyer has hit 15 home runs and is batting .332. Since his career began in 2001, Cuddyer has never hit over .300 in a season. His slugging percentage of .567 is also the highest of his career.
It’s been a heck of a run for Cuddyer this season, and he’s hoping to show everyone what he can do on Monday.
Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates
Carlos Gonzalez was going to participate in the Derby, but he will miss it due to injury, according to SportsCenter.
Alvarez may only be hitting .253 this year, but his power certainly isn’t in question. He has 24 home runs on the season, with 16 of those coming in just the last 40 games.
The strikeouts have been a problem for Alvarez this season, striking out 33.1 percent of the time, but he won’t need to worry about missing during the Derby. He’ll be aiming deep all day, and he hopes that he can make a deep push.