It was a brand-new format for the 2014 Home Run Derby, but it was Yoenis Cespedes who was making the history.
Fox Sports Live and ESPN Stats & Info pointed out just how the Oakland Athletics outfielder joined the record books with his impressive victory Monday:
Yoenis Cespedes joins Ken Griffey Jr. as only players to win consecutive Home Run Derby titles— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 15, 2014
Here is a look at the full results of the event from each round:
|AL Batter||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3|
|Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics||3||10||7|
|Jose Bautista, Blue Jays||10||Bye||4|
|Adam Jones, Orioles||4||3|
|Josh Donaldson, Athletics||3|
|Brian Dozier, Twins||2|
|NL Batter||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3|
|Todd Frazier, Reds||2||6||1|
|Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins||6||Bye||0|
|Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies||4||2|
|Justin Morneau, Rockies||2|
|Yasiel Puig, Dodgers||0|
|Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics||9|
|Todd Frazier, Reds||1|
It was something of an anticlimactic final though, as Cespedes blasted nine home runs, while Todd Frazier only managed one. Still, that shouldn’t take away from Cespedes’ overall performance in that last round, which actually added to the historical element of the event, as ESPN Stats & Info noted:
Yoenis Cespedes beat Todd Frazier 9-1 in the HR Derby Finals. The 8-HR margin of victory is the largest in a HR Derby Finals— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 15, 2014
Yoenis Cespedes: 1st player to hit at least 30 HR in 2 different HR Derby competitions-- Hit 32 in 2013 and 30 in 2014— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 15, 2014
Average projected distance for Yoenis Cespedes in Finals- 465.4 feet— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 15, 2014
It is no wonder then that Cespedes took home the trophy, given the focus he displayed heading into that championship round against Frazier. He took the time to point out to his Twitter followers that he was ready, and he even impressed ESPN college football announcer Kirk Herbstreit along the way:
I live for This! #risetothemoment— Yoenis Cespedes (@ynscspds) July 15, 2014
Before meeting in the final round, Cespedes and Frazier had to win their own league finals in the third round. Cespedes knocked out Jose Bautista 7-4, while Frazier squeaked past Giancarlo Stanton 1-0. It was Bautista who hit the most home runs in the first round for the American League with 10, while Stanton blasted six of his own on the National League side.
Interestingly enough, Cespedes needed a tiebreaker against teammate Josh Donaldson just to reach the second round. All he did was win that and eventually capture the entire tournament.
Chad Graff of the St. Paul Pioneer Press pointed out just what Cespedes received for his efforts:
Yoenis Cespedes was just given a three-year supply of razors for winning the home run derby. Seriously. Congrats, kid.— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) July 15, 2014
In perfect world, at least from Oakland’s perspective, Cespedes got more than just a bunch of razors Monday.
The Athletics are arguably the best team in baseball and certainly have their mind on a pennant chase in the season’s second half. Cespedes displayed his raw power Monday, which may just give him a boost of confidence. He does have 14 home runs and 56 RBI, but he is only hitting .246 with a .299 on-base percentage.
Manager Bob Melvin certainly had the big picture in mind before the event began, via Matt Kawahara of The Sacramento Bee:
It was so entertaining last year and whenever you get an opportunity to do that as a player, I certainly understand that. At the end of the day, it is a very entertaining event, and the fact that he won it last year gave us a little more exposure, probably a good thing. You just hope nobody gets hurt.
Now that Cespedes has that win under his belt, he can focus on using that power in the actual games. If he just raises that average a bit more and drills some homers to go along with it, the middle of the Oakland lineup will be intimidating.
It certainly was when Cespedes was setting history Monday night.
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