The 2013 MLB Home Run Derby was one of the most exciting in years, but it was the showcase of fresh faces and how they performed under pressure that made this event so special.
All of the following stars haven’t been around the league for long, but with an amazing performance on Monday, each has cemented their spot as one of the best power hitters in the majors.
Oakland Athletics second-year star Yoenis Cespedes showed why the team fell in love with the Cuban sensation when he blasted 17 home runs in the first round alone.
At just 27 years old and with plenty of room to grow as a baseball player, Cespedes not only proved he has the physical tools to be one of the best home run hitters in the majors, but that he also has the mental aptitude to handle the pressure.
It wasn’t even that the Cuban star was just hitting home runs left and right—he ended up with 23 over the first two rounds and won the event with nine home runs on five outs—it was the power he showed and the effortless nature of his swing.
Cespedes is a natural hitter that will be a force in the league for a long time. Monday was his coming-out party to the casual baseball fans.
At only 20 years old, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has already made a huge impact on the sport of baseball, but the young star proved that he will thrive in the toughest situations.
Not only was his composure something all franchises dream of having in a star player, the fact that he used his father as his pitcher allowed him to become more relatable. That will increase Harper’s star power tenfold.
Harper wasn’t flashy in the tournament, hitting eight home runs in each of the three rounds, but his consistent swing was enough to launch him into the finals and put his name on the tongues of causal baseball fans.
The Baltimore Orioles have an absolute gem in first baseman Chris Davis, and despite not making the final round, the league-leader in home runs had his raw power exposed to a national audience.
Davis hit 12 home runs total in the contest, but it was his 461-foot bomb that turned heads and showcased what he is capable of as he continues to develop and perfect his game.
At just 27 years old, Baltimore has a serious star for the future. As long as Davis continues to work hard at his craft and doesn’t lose the work ethic that has brought him to this level, he will be the top-tier hitter he showed he can be during Monday’s derby.