2013 All-Star Game Predictions: Players Who Will Go Yard at Citi Field
Citi Field, which will play host to the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night, is generally considered one of the toughest ballparks in the league for power hitters.
It seemed nearly impossible to hit one out of the spacious park during its first couple years of existence, but the fences were brought in and Citi Field suddenly appears to favor home run hitters.
According to ESPN.com, Citi Field is actually baseball's ninth-easiest ballpark to hit a home run in, so there may be more fireworks on Tuesday night than originally expected. When you add in most of the top power hitters in the game, the odds of a slugfest go up even more.
Here are three All-Stars that you can expect to step up to the plate and go yard when the American and National Leagues battle for home-field advantage in the World Series.
New York Mets third baseman David Wright may not be an especially prolific home run hitter, as he has hit more than 21 in a season just once over the past four years, but he is very familiar with Citi Field and should feed off his home crowd.
Wright is having a stellar season, hitting .304 with 13 long balls and 44 RBI, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him run into one. After all, Newsday.com has Wright as the leading home run hitter in Citi Field history with 35.
That has as much to do with the amount of games that Wright has played at Citi Field as anything, but the numbers still speak for themselves.
From 2005 through 2008, Wright hit at least 26 home runs in each of those seasons, but that was during the Shea Stadium era. Wright did hit 29 in 2010, though, so he is capable of conquering Citi Field.
Wright tried to do so in the Home Run Derby on Monday night, and while he came up short, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweeted that Wright really enjoyed the event.
David Wright said he was gassed during Derby, but haven't seen wide smile on his face like this in while. Beaming at being #Mets ambassador.— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) July 16, 2013
Hitting home runs in an exhibition and doing it in a game are two different animals. It isn't unheard of for players to elevate their game when playing in an All-Star Game at home. Wright seems like the type of guy who can do that.
The Mets captain will have a few opportunities to go yard and he will find a way to do it.
Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera's Citi Field resume is limited, but sometimes that simply doesn't matter.
Cabrera is currently having one of the greatest MLB seasons in recent memory and he is once again the front-runner in the AL MVP race. Cabrera does have stiff competition in the form of Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis, but Cabrera has had a better overall year to this point and stands to make it look even better at the All-Star Game.
Cabrera leads the league in batting average at .365 as well as in RBI with 95. He has also added in 30 home runs for good measure.
Cabrera has had some incredible seasons over the course of his impressive career, but he is on pace to better all of them. According to ESPN Numbers Never Lie, Cabrera is currently obliterating the numbers he had at the All-Star break last year, and he went on to win the AL Triple Crown.
Miguel Cabrera has 12 more HR, 24 more RBI and a .041 higher BA at the break in 2013 than he had in 2012... when he won the triple crown.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) July 15, 2013
Cabrera is a safe pick to hit a home run on Tuesday because he hits them more often than almost anyone in the game. He also doesn't have to alter his swing in order to hit them.
Cabrera is perfectly capable of smashing line-drive ropes over the center field fence and that is something that very few players can say.
Based on the way that Cabrera has played this year, it isn't inconceivable to think that he could hit more than one out of the park on Tuesday.
Although it seems like he was under-appreciated in retrospect, the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder played parts of seven productive seasons for the Mets and was often the focal point of their offense.
Due to a mixture of late-season failures and injuries, Beltran isn't remembered as an all-time great Met. Despite that, he continues to rake at the age of 36 and he will be a National League starter when the teams take the field to start the All-Star Game.
Which player is most likely to hit a home run in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game?
It remains to be seen what type of reaction Beltran will receive, but he probably doesn't care.
Beltran has found new life in St. Louis and is doing quite well for himself. He had an All-Star season with the Cards last year and has followed it up this season with a .309 batting average, 19 home runs and 53 RBI.
Even though Beltran played two-and-a-half seasons for the Mets during the Citi Field era, injuries kept him out of a lot of games during the time frame.
Nevertheless, Beltran remains fifth on Citi Field's all-time home runs list. As the No. 2 hitter in the NL's lineup, Beltran figures to get at least two at-bats on Tuesday—perhaps as many as three. He is used to hitting in the park, but he'll probably have an even easier time with the fences moved in.
Though he may not be the first choice when it comes to picking a home run hitter in this game, he has as good of a chance as anyone.
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