Home Run Derby 2013: Complete Preview for Tonight's Contest

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 09:  American League All-Star Prince Fielder #28 of the Detroit Tigers poses with sons Jaden (L) and Haven (R) after winning the State Farm Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium on July 9, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Chicks dig the long ball. Then again, so does everyone else, which is why the Home Run Derby is so popular.

Despite being played in a pitcher-friendly park in Citi Field, this year's event should be as good as ever. 

The competition features two hometown heroes, a two-time champion, a player on pace for 62 home runs this season and a few guys capable of absolutely crushing the ball.

If you were ever going to watch the contest, this is the year to do it. For that, here is a guide of everything you need to know about the 2013 Home Run Derby. 


When: Monday, June 15

Time: 8 p.m. ET

Where: Citi Field, Flushing, New York

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN


Players (Odds Courtesy of Bovada)

Chris Davis (15-4)

Coming into the season, few would have predicted that Chris Davis would turn so many heads.

The 27-year-old first baseman had a bit of a breakout year last season with 33 home runs. He has already past that mark this year with 37 long balls, putting him on pace for 62 for the season. 

Although regular-season performance does not always carry over into the derby, there is no one hitting the ball better at this point in the year. Davis has hit a homer in four straight games and as a result is a favorite to win this competition.


Prince Fielder (15-4)

Experience is a big thing in this type of contest. Fortunately for Prince Fielder, he knows exactly what it takes to win as a two-time champion.

This will be a nice boost after struggling for much of the season. His current .267 batting average would be the second-worst mark of his career, and he is in danger of hitting fewer than 30 home runs for the first time since his rookie year. 

However, he knows how to put on a show in this exhibition, and fans should expect another strong performance from the big man. 


Pedro Alvarez (9-2)

Although Pedro Alvarez was not originally selected to the contest, he got in after Carlos Gonzalez withdrew with a finger injury. Amazingly, he is automatically one of the top contenders to win it all.

The young player is currently second in the National League with 24 home runs and has as much raw power as anyone in the majors.

By the end of the day, it is possible that Alvarez goes from an unknown to a household name.


Bryce Harper (11-2)

Whether you love him or hate him, Bryce Harper will certainly be entertaining at this event. 

The 20-year-old phenom only has 13 homers this season, but that is due to the fact that he missed a month due to an injury. Despite that, he was still selected to start the All-Star game on Tuesday.

He has the raw ability to do some special things on a baseball field, and winning a Home Run Derby would be yet another accolade for the young player before he is legally allowed to drink.


Robinson Cano (11-2)

After winning this contest in 2011, Robinson Cano hit zero last year while attempting to defend his title.

That streakiness defines the talented hitter more than anything else. Throughout his career, he would go on runs in which pitchers simply could not get him out before looking lost for weeks.

He could succeed or fail in this competition, but look out if he gets a few on the board early.


Yoenis Cespedes (11-2)

In a batting-practice atmosphere, Yoenis Cespedes has a chance to do real well. The Cuban has struggled to get the ball in play for most of the year, but when he does, he can hit it a long way.

This season, Cespedes home runs are traveling an average of 407.9 feet, which is the best mark of anyone in this competition.

While he only has 15 shots this year, he should not be counted out.


David Wright (9-1)

In 2006, David Wright did well at the derby and finished one home run shy of winning it all, as Ryan Howard took the crown. However, he struggled to find his power stroke for the rest of the year.

The New York Mets player might be more careful this time around despite having his fans cheering him on.

That being said, he does have the longest home run of the year among those competing on Tuesday.


Michael Cuddyer (10-1)

Although Michael Cuddyer is having a great year, he does not really deserve a spot in a power-hitting competition. He has always been more of a line-drive hitter who occasionally hits it over the wall.

However, his previous relationship with Wright gave the NL captain a chance to take Cuddyer to this event.

Considering that most of his home runs this season have been at hitter-friendly Coors Field, he could struggle to hit more than a few out.


Predicted Winner: Chris Davis

It certainly helps to have experience, and it is possible that Davis could get nervous in the spotlight, but he is simply hitting too well to struggle.

If he can hit the ball out of the park so often against major league pitching, there is no reason he cannot do the same with soft tosses.

Davis will continue to crush baseballs over the wall at Citi Field and become the new Home Run Derby champion.


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