2013 Home Run Derby Winner: Yoenis Cespedes Will Emerge as Star After Derby Win
If you didn't know who Yoenis Cespedes was before the 2013 Home Run Derby, you should by now.
Cespedes may have entered baseball's most entertaining All-Star event as a relative unknown compared to his fellow competitors, but that won't be the case as he moves on from his epic performance Monday night.
The 27-year-old outfielder is one of the rare contestants in derby history to participate without being an actual All-Star. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, he's the only non-All-Star to win the competition:
Yoenis Cespedes made history in many ways Monday. But start with this: 1st man ever to win a HR Derby despite not making the all-star team— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 16, 2013
Cespedes really burst onto scene in his rookie season last year. The Cuban slugger made an immediate impact with 23 home runs, 82 RBI and an average of .292 in 129 games. Had it not been for some guy named Mike Trout, he likely would have been the American League Rookie of the Year.
This season, things have been a little more difficult for him at the plate. He's hitting just .225.
However, there's still hope that Cespedes will become a star. There's nothing that fans love more than the kind of power that can change the complexion of the game on any given at-bat.
As evidenced by the 15 home runs that he hit before the All-Star break and the 17 home runs that he hit in the first round, there are few young players who possess the kind of power that Cespedes does.
The slugger's performance in the marquee event was awe-inspiring. As ESPN Stats & Info tweeted, the combined distance of Cespedes' home runs was over two miles. That's the kind of power that will get people talking.
Yoenis Cespedes hit nearly 2.5 miles worth of HR in #HRDerby That's enough to cross the Brooklyn Bridge twice.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 16, 2013
The Oakland Athletics have already wisely capitalized on Cespedes' performance on prime time in front of a national television audience. According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the club will offer one dollar off select tickets for each home run the outfielder hit in the derby:
$34 Field level tickets to the A’s 7/26 game will now be $5 as a result of Cespedes hitting 29+ HR tonight ($1 off each HR) #HRDerby— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 16, 2013
It's a wise move on the Athletics' part. Per ESPN Stats & Info, he's the first player from the organization to win the derby since Mark McGwire in 1992.
Yoenis Cespedes: 1st Athletics player to win #HRDerby since Mark McGwire, 1992— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 16, 2013
He just may be their most marketable hitter they've had since then too.
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