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Home Run Derby 2013: Sluggers Who Should Be Added to Next Year's Contest

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 17:  Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins hits a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the ninth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on June 17, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Marlins defeated the Diamondbacks 3-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2013

This year's Home Run Derby was certainly memorable with Yoenis Cespedes taking the crown with 32 total homers. However, a number of other contestants could have made it better.

Thanks to the teams being selected by captains, fans were left watching a few players who are not true power hitters. Even though Michael Cuddyer did well in the first round, he and David Wright are better suited hitting line drives in the gaps.

There are a number of players who have the raw power to do well in this contest and would provide a better show for the fans. If these men are added to the competition next year, it will be a much more exciting event. 

 

Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

The derby proved that regular-season numbers do not mean everything.

Cespedes and fellow finalist Bryce Harper have combined for 28 home runs this season, which is nine fewer than Chris Davis has by himself. However, the Orioles first baseman was knocked out in the semifinals.

This means that Giancarlo Stantonwho only has 10 home runs this year—would have the chance to do well.

The powerful outfielder has hit 93 homers in his three full seasons, but playing in a pitcher-friendly park with little protection in the batting order has hurt his production. Still, he has the strength to hit it a long way when he gets a pitch to hit.

In a batting-practice atmosphere like the derby, he would be extremely successful.

 

Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox

One of the great injustices in baseball is the fact that Adam Dunn has never been in a home run derby. Not only does he have 430 career homers, but he is as consistent as they come with eight seasons of over 35 shots.

He is well on his way to hitting this number again this season with 24 home runs at the All-Star break.

While some players turn down the opportunity to compete in this competition because it might negatively affect their swing going forward, the .238 career hitter has little to worry about.

Dunn is the definition of a pure power hitter and he has made a career by hitting the ball over the fence. There is no reason he should not be in a contest that showcases that ability.

 

Justin Upton, Atlanta Braves

There might not be a streakier hitter this season than Justin Upton. The former Arizona Diamondbacks player had 12 home runs in April but only four since.

However, he hits the ball far when he does make contact.

According to Hit Tracker, Upton leads the majors in average distance per home run at 428 feet. If you thought this was a fluke or a small sample size, he actually led the majors in this category in 2011 as well when he knocked 31 homers.

The 25-year-old hitter might get shutout in the contest, but he is capable of putting on a show if he is swinging well.

 

Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays

Most baseball fans are aware that Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera rank first and second in the majors in home runs this season, but few can name the player tied for third. Amazingly, it is someone who finished in the top five in the league last year.

Edwin Encarnacion has proven that last season's mark of 42 home runs was not a fluke. He has 25 to start this year as he continues to be one of the most underrated power hitters in the game.

Obviously, many will jump to the fact that he plays his home games in the Rogers Centre, which is one of the easiest parks to hit the ball out of in the league. However, 17 of Encarnacion's long balls this year were hit on the road.

Besides, his hits have been crushed this year and he is tied for the most "no-doubt home runs" in the majors, according to Hit Tracker

The veteran has turned himself into an elite power hitter, and he deserves a chance to show what he can do in the spotlight of the home run derby.

 

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