MLB Home Run Derby 2013: 10 Biggest Blasts of the Competition
The annual hitting competition that is known as the Home Run Derby has come and gone. As usual, the fireworks were on display in Citi Field with Yoenis Cespedes bringing New York to its knees with 17 homers in the first round.
When all was said and done, the final matchup featured the two hitters who know how to put on a show during batting practice. No disrespect to Chris Davis, Prince Fielder and the other competitors in this event, but Bryce Harper and Cespedes are built for a power hitting exhibition.
Cespedes wound up prevailing with a towering shot for his final blast of the night, giving him nine home runs in the final round and eclipsing the mark of eight that Harper set just minutes earlier.
Things did calm down a bit after the first round, but this is always a fun show to watch because of the raw power that you can see on any given swing. Fielder didn't make it past the first round, but he did hit one of the farthest balls you will ever see hit out of Citi Field.
We are going to give you a closer look at the best that the 2013 Home Run Derby had to offer courtesy of the participants in this year's event.
Note: All distances courtesy of MLB.com.
Honorable Mention: Chris Davis, First Round
Estimated Distance: 427 ft. to left field (second HR in round)
Even though Chris Davis, who leads the world in homers right now, didn't get out of the second round, he made quite an impression early thanks to his ability to drive the ball without really looking like he was connecting.
Take a look at a shot he hit in the first round, where he poked his arms out at the ball, clearly didn't get all of it and still managed to hit it 427 feet to the opposite field. That is insane power right there.
Honorable Mention: Yoenis Cespedes, First Round
Estimated Distance: 436 ft. to right field (10th HR in round)
Every year there seems to be one star whose performance steals the show, even if they don't win the event. This year it was Yoenis Cespedes, who put on a show in the first round and rode it to a finals matchup with Bryce Harper and the eventual win.
In the first round, Cespedes drilled 17 home runs, the third most in a single round in derby history. While he will appear plenty more times on this list, this home run might be the best because he hit it to the opposite field and still crushed it 436 feet.
No. 10: Yoenis Cespedes, First Round
Estimated Distance: 430 ft. to left field (14th HR in round)
I told you we would talk more about Cespedes, so why keep you in suspense? The A's outfielder wasn't selected to the All-Star game because of injuries and a poor performance in the first half of the season, but it is easy to see why Robinson Cano wanted him on the AL Home Run Derby team after seeing this display.
No. 9: Bryce Harper, Second Round
Estimated Distance: 432 ft. to right field (fifth HR in round)
Harper was the player fans were most looking forward to seeing in this event because they have heard the legends about the wunderkind hitting 500-plus foot moonshots. While he didn't quite do anything like that with wood, his violent swing was working to perfection on swings like this one.
No. 8: Bryce Harper, First Round
Estimated Distance: 440 ft. to left center field (fourth HR in round)
I promise not all of these distances are going to feature one player on back-to-back pages, but it just so happens that Harper and Cespedes hit a lot of balls really far that deserved to be praised.
The mark of a truly great power hitter is being able to drive the ball out to all fields. Harper has proven himself to be one of the best in the game at hitting the ball out wherever he can, so it should come as no surprise that he had one of the longest opposite-field shots in this contest.
No. 7: Yoenis Cespedes, First Round
Estimated Distance: 447 ft. to center field (third HR of round)
At some point you just watch a player hit home runs and marvel at the power they are showing. With Cespedes, that moment probably came about one or two shots into his first round. There was no doubt who the star of the event would be, especially after his 17th blast of the round.
No. 6: Yoenis Cespedes, Final Round
Estimated Distance: 455 ft. to center field
Cespedes put an exclamation point on his derby victory with his moon shot to center field that pushed his final-round total to nine and secured the win over Bryce Harper. Too often we see players get cheated on their final swing of the competition, but the A's outfielder got everything and then some on this shot.
No. 5: Chris Davis, First Round
Estimated Distance: 451 ft. to center field (first HR in round)
The fascination with Davis and what he is doing this year stems from the ease with which he swings. You can look at a player like Bryce Harper and know they are going to crush the ball because you can see the bat speed and anger in the swing.
Davis, on the other hand, is much more relaxed and at ease in the box. He doesn't have a lot of movement, just a very simple load and fire. It wasn't enough to win the Home Run Derby, but he certainly left his mark with some of the biggest blasts in the event.
No. 4: Yoenis Cespedes, First Round
Estimated Distance: 456 ft. to center field
Some of the distances on these home runs got cut off because of the seats or restaurants in the stadium, but it would be hard to imagine Cespedes actually hitting a ball any further than he was able to do on this bomb Monday night.
No. 3: Chris Davis, Second Round & Pedro Alvarez, First Round
Estimated Distance: 461 ft. (Davis' first HR of second round; Alvarez's sixth HR of first round)
Sometimes when you are watching a Home Run Derby, the feeling of awe can get lost because you are seeing so many homers hit by very strong and powerful people. Then comes something like Davis hitting one 461 feet by just putting his bat out there to make contact.
Alvarez got off to a slow start in the derby, making four outs and looking like he would put up the dreaded bagel. That turned around in a hurry, as Pittsburgh's slugger wound up hitting six homers in the first round. It wasn't enough to advance, but he left fans with a great memory thanks to his 461-foot shot.
No. 2: Bryce Harper, First Round
Estimated Distance: 471 ft. to right center field
When you are Bryce Harper and everyone is expecting a big show in the Home Run Derby, you better be able to deliver or you will never hear the end of it. I may have high standards, but hitting a ball 471 feet in your first ever derby is a nice way to say hello to the world.
No. 1: Prince Fielder, First Round
Estimated Distance: 483 ft. to right field
The defending Home Run Derby champion failed to make it out of the first round this year, but not before leaving the fans with something to remember him by. Being the first hitter up, Fielder had a lot of pressure on his shoulders to perform. That was alleviated with his second home run of the event, which turned out to be the longest one hit on Monday night.
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