MLB Home Run Derby 2014: Participants Who Will Shine in Minnesota

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MLB Home Run Derby 2014: Participants Who Will Shine in Minnesota
USA TODAY Sports

Don't expect anyone to break any Home Run Derby records on Monday at Target Field. The park has allowed the second-fewest long balls in the American League. But that doesn't mean fans won't see their share of baseballs sent way over the outfield walls.

Per Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, Colorado Rockies superstar and Home Run Derby participant Troy Tulowitzki said: "[Target Field] is not the best place to hit home runs. But I don't think it matters for some of these guys. They can hit it out of any park."

One of those guys Tulowitzki is referring to has to be the Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton.

 

King of the Tape-Measure Shots

USA TODAY Sports

Stanton is a massively strong young power hitter who is tied for the National League lead in home runs. Even if he doesn't win the competition, it seems almost certain that he'll launch his share of moonshots.

No one hits home runs as far as Stanton in the majors. According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, of the 20 longest home runs hit this season, Stanton is responsible for three of them. Only one other player (the Atlanta Braves' Justin Upton) appears on the list more than once.

Former Marlins manager and ESPN Deportes analyst Ozzie Guillen said: "I don't want to know how many Giancarlo's going to hit. I want to know how far he's going to hit them."

 

The Champ Is Here

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Oakland A's' Yoenis Cespedes won last year's competition with a total of 32 home runs. He out-slugged the Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper 9-8 in the final round.

Because of his success in last year's event, he deserves some love heading into Monday's showcase.

While he's torn up the Twins at Target Field with a batting average of .447, Cespedes has only hit two homers in nine games there. That might all be irrelevant in this event, but he seems to see the ball well in Minnesota.

Those factors could lead to a successful defense of his Home Run Derby title.

 

The Showstopper

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

No participant has fewer home runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, but few players seem to rise to the occasion like the polarizing second-year pro.

There's no doubt the 6'2", 235-pounder has the strength to slug a ton of long balls. He'll just need to find a rhythm and feel the energy of the crowd. He seems to feed off that more than anything.

 

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