Yoenis Cespedes can't be stopped.
For the second year in a row, the Oakland Athletics star has won the Home Run Derby, this time defeating Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds in the final. And, in Cespedes style, he made it look easy, as Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com noted:
'I'm somebody who's very conscious of the power that I have,' Cespedes said. 'So I don't need to put more of a swing or more of an effort in order to hit a home run. I just have to look for a good pitch and put a good swing on it, and it usually takes care of it.'
Indeed, Sean Doolittle, Cespedes' A's teammate, probably summed it up best: 'A regular Monday batting practice for Cespy.'
It was something to see. But his victory wasn't the only highlight of the night. Below, we'll take a look at the results and review the night's top moments.
|AL Player||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Final||Rd. 3||Rd. 2||Rd. 1||NL Player|
|Brian Dozier||2||x||x||1||6||2||Todd Frazier|
|Jose Bautista||10||Bye||4||Cespedes 9||x||2||4||Troy Tulowitzki|
|Adam Jones||4||3||x||Frazier 1||x||x||0||Yasiel Puig|
|Josh Donaldson||3||x||x||0||Bye||6||Giancarlo Stanton|
|Yoenis Cespedes||3||9||7||x||x||2||Justin Morneau|
While Cespedes ultimately was the champion, the first round belonged to Jose Bautista and Giancarlo Stanton. The AL captain opened with a bang, ripping 10 home runs to earn the second-round bye, while Stanton hit six dingers and several that traveled over 400 feet.
Just check out this blast, via ESPN on Twitter:
With both players earning a bye, however, they ended up sitting for a little over two hours until they swung again. Not surprisingly, neither survived the third round, instead bowing out to Cespedes and Frazier.
Jayson Stark of ESPN thinks that is a major flaw of the new setup:
More proof this format is as flawed as previous formats. Frazier barely got out of first round. Stanton rocked the house. Then sat 2 hours— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 15, 2014
As lots of you are pointing out on Twitter, Cespedes outhomered Frazier, 30-10. Bautista hit 10 in the first round, & he's long gone. Hmmm.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 15, 2014
Mark Bowman of MLB.com has Bautista's reaction to his poor third round, when he managed only four homers:
Jose Bautista chose not to blame the two-hour wait between swings. But he said he regrets allowing Cespedes to go first in the semis— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 15, 2014
While Bautista and Stanton were on ice, however, Cespedes was heating up. After needing a first-round tiebreaker to advance, he ripped nine dingers in the second round, easily disposing of Adam Jones. He followed that up by smacking seven blasts in the third round, brushing Bautista aside.
Frazier, meanwhile, also needed a first-round tiebreaker to move on. He had his best performance in the second round, as his six dingers eliminated NL captain Troy Tulowitzki. But in the third round he was truly lucky, as his sole home run was enough to beat Stanton, who was so cold from the long wait between rounds that he failed to hit a single home run.
That set up a rather anticlimactic final, as Cespedes opened things up by cracking nine home runs. Frazier never stood a chance, hitting only one, and the derby had its repeat winner. He also made some history, according to ESPN Stats & Information:
Yoenis Cespedes: 1st player to hit at least 30 HR in 2 different HR Derby competitions-- He hit 32 in 2013 and 30 in 2014— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 15, 2014
Meanwhile, perhaps the most disappointing moment of the night came from Yasiel Puig, who failed to hit a single home run. For people expecting the showman to, you know, put on a show, it was a disappointing result.
But Cespedes' victory could be a good thing. It might just encourage some of the younger stars in the game, like Mike Trout, to compete next year to dethrone the back-to-back champ. And if a player like Trout puts his name in the running, you can bet folks will be excited to see what he can do.
For now, Cespedes is the king. Hopefully, a slew of superstars will chase his crown next year.