The format may have been confusing, Yasiel Puig may have disappointed with zero home runs and the crowd may have been focused on other players, but Monday was Yoenis Cespedes’ night at the Home Run Derby.
He defended his crown with a 9-1 drubbing of Todd Frazier in the final round to become the first repeat winner in 15 years. Here is a look at the full results:
|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|
History is Made
It wasn’t just Cespedes’ win, though, that made headlines, it was the historical fashion in which he did it.
ESPN Stats & Info pointed out the various aspects of Cespedes’ performance that helped etch his name in the history books:
Yoenis Cespedes joins Ken Griffey Jr. as only players to win consecutive Home Run Derby titles— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 15, 2014
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
If you’re going to win the Home Run Derby, you may as well shatter some records along the way.
The new format certainly had its ups and downs.
For one, each batter only received seven outs per round, which helped limit the actual time of the event. That turned out to be even more critical after rain delayed the start.
Which format do you prefer?
Using the new format, Jose Bautista and Giancarlo Stanton earned a bye to the semifinals after impressive first-round showings. Bautista blasted 10 home runs in that initial round and thrilled fans with a number of shots that went into the second deck. Stanton hit six, many of which were absolute moonshots that seemed to follow the trajectory of the rainbow above the stadium.
Still, both were eliminated before the final round after waiting for quite some time. Stanton didn’t even manage a single home run and lost to Frazier 1-0 in the National League final.
ESPN Stats & Info noted a couple of irregularities that resulted from the new format:
Todd Frazier made the Finals by hitting 10 total HR ... Jose Bautista hit 10 HR in the first round— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 15, 2014
Yoenis Cespedes has hit 21 HR at this year's HR Derby. Todd Frazier has hit 10. They'll go head to head in Finals— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 15, 2014
Going forward, it is only natural to wonder if there will be more changes in store for next year.
The seven outs should probably stay because the event is often too long as it is, but Bautista had to wait nearly two hours to compete after putting on a show in the first round. It was almost like a punishment for having the best initial showing.
On the National League side, Frazier only hit a single home run in the semifinals and found a way to advance. That seems a bit strange as well.
Justin Morneau Returns Home
Justin Morneau drew some of the biggest ovations Monday, and for good reason. He played 10-plus years in Minnesota and reached four All-Star Games during his time there.
Interestingly, Morneau was the only left-handed hitter in the event, which was not surprising because Target Field is much more suited toward right-handers with a shorter gap in left center. He managed to hit two in the first round but eventually lost to Frazier in a three-swing tiebreaker.
This was special, to be back in the park and to be able to say good-bye. … It is fun. Most guys dream when they are growing up about playing Home Run Derby in their backyard. Kids dream about hitting home runs. To be on that big stage in a Home Run Derby is something special.
Even though he didn’t win, it was certainly nice for Morneau to come away with some positive memories in his old stomping grounds.
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