There is going to be some serious power on display on Monday night from Target Field.
The 2014 Home Run Derby features 10 of the best sluggers that the game has to offer. That's going to result in more than a few moonshots during this exciting event. The Minneapolis, Minnesota, sky is going to be filled with baseballs from the beginning to the end of the contest.
Given the fact that all 10 contestants hit the ball out of the yard with regularity, it isn't really easy to predict a winner. Sure, you can have your favorites, but the winner is really anyone's guess.
Below you'll find a full list of the contestants in the derby, along with a predicted winner who's probably the favorite of many.
|2014 Home Run Derby Contestants|
|AL Hitter||Team||2014 Home Run Tally|
|Jose Bautista||Toronto Blue Jays||17|
|Yoenis Cespedes||Oakland Athletics||14|
|Adam Jones||Baltimore Orioles||16|
|Brian Dozier||Minnesota Twins||18|
|Josh Donaldson||Oakland Athletics||20|
|NL Hitter||Team||2014 Home Run Tally|
|Troy Tulowitzki||Colorado Rockies||21|
|Yasiel Puig||Los Angeles Dodgers||12|
|Giancarlo Stanton||Miami Marlins||21|
|Todd Frazier||Cincinnati Reds||19|
|Justin Morneau||Colorado Rockies||13|
Giancarlo Stanton must be considered the favorite on Monday night. At the very least, he'll be the one hitting the farthest shots of the night.
The Miami Marlins slugger leads baseball with an average distance on his 21 home runs of 423.8 feet, courtesy of ESPN's Home Run Tracker. He hits baseballs far, and he hits baseballs hard. A good reason for his high average distance on homers is mostly because of this jack:
That ball went an estimated 484 feet. We could see balls go even farther at Target Field.
He hits them long with consistency, as ESPN Stats & Info pointed out:
Naturally, Stanton's inclusion in the derby has led to excitement all around the baseball world. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com showed his excitement over Twitter:
DiComo, a New York Mets beat writer, is no stranger to Stanton's exploits. He has 13 homers and 35 RBI in his career against the Amazin's.
MLB.com is certainly having fun with the thought of Stanton demolishing a few dozen balls. They posted a video of Stanton swinging Mjolnir, the hammer of Thor:
This event is suited for Stanton. Hitting homers is his specialty, and it looks like he might already be at an advantage. His manager, Mike Redmond, will pitch to him. That's something Stanton seems comfortable with, via Steve Gorten of the Sun Sentinel:
He throws to me pretty much every day. I didn’t want it to be someone that I know is good, but I haven’t hit off them in three and a half months. But then again, I made it clear, anyone on the coaching staff, if they want the time off, trust me, I don’t care at all. I would want the time off.
I told [Redmond], ‘I know you’d be the first one to want time off out of any of the staff, but you throw to me every day, and I wanted to ask you first. Who knows? Maybe he really wanted to, and I asked someone else thinking he didn’t.
That familiarity should go a long way for Stanton.
Stanton has struggled in 12 contests this month. He has no homers and three RBI to go with a slash line of .163/.302/.163. This slump shouldn't hurt his chances in the derby, however.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR