2011 MLB Home Run Derby: The 12 Best Sluggers Who Won't Be in the Derby
The NBA has the Dunk Contest and MLB has the Home Run Derby. It has become a staple of the All-Star festivities and each year fans make cases for this player and that player who was overlooked for the All-Star game and the Home Run Derby.
Representing the National League this year is captain Prince Fielder, Matt Holliday, Rickie Weeks and Matt Kemp. They will be taking on the American League squad led by David Ortiz, Jose Bautista, Robinson Cano and Adrian Gonzalez.
Here is a list of the top 12 sluggers in Major League Baseball who won't be making an appearance in the HR Derby this year.
Mike Stanton really wanted to get into the Derby this year and teammate Gaby Sanchez tried his best to get him there.
Palm Beach Post reported that Gaby Sanchez started a game of telephone by texting college teammate Ryan Braun to tell Prince Fielder that Mike Stanton said if he was picked "he'd actually let loose."
Stanton should of gotten there based on performance alone as he is one of the top young sluggers in the majors. He hit 22 home runs in 100 games last season and leads the Marlins this season with 17 home runs already. This power hitter is still young and will most likely be in the Derby at least once in the near future.
Adrian Beltre is in his 13th year in the majors and has yet to participate in a home run derby. Even though he has hit 20 or more home runs in eight of the past 11 seasons, with three of those years coming in pitcher friendly Safeco Field.
He hit 48 home runs back in 2004, which was his last season with the LA Dodgers, and is having one of his best seasons since then down in Texas, hitting 16 home runs already this season.
The reigning NL MVP also has not competed yet in the Derby even though he has shown the power to hit home runs. He has hit 86 home runs over the past three seasons, including 37 last year.
He currently has 12 home runs this season and I think we will see him compete in at least one home run derby before he calls it quits.
Ryan Howard is a veteran of the home run derby, competing already three times, winning once in 2006. Even though he does swing and miss a lot, when he connects the ball usually is find a spot in the seats.
Over the past five seasons his home run totals have been 58, 47, 48, 45 and 31. He currently has 18 home runs this season and would have to be a favorite if he was in the derby this year.
Ryan Braun competed once in the Home Run Derby, back in 2008 at Yankee Stadium, and finished fourth. He has shown to be a consistent home run hitter, hitting 30 plus home runs in three of his first seasons.
He currently has 16 home runs and is on pace to break that 30 home run mark again this season.
Tulo is one of the top sluggers in the game and is the best home run hitting shortstop in Major League Baseball right now.
Now some may say his numbers are inflated playing at home in Coors Field but not so fast as seven of his 17 home runs have come on the road this season.
Over the past three seasons he has hit 36 home runs at home compared to 31 on the road, which goes to show this guy can hit home runs no matter the venue.
Miguel Cabrera is another top power hitter who won't be in the Home Run Derby this season. He has however competed in the 2006 and 2010 Derby, finishing third and fourth respectively.
He has shown to be a top home run hitter, with at least 30 home runs in six of the past seven seasons, hitting as many as 38 last season. He currently has 18 home runs this season and looks like he is on his way to break that 30 home run mark again in 2011.
Mark Reynolds is showing it doesn't matter if he is in the National League or American League, he hits home runs. He hit a total of 104 home runs over his final three seasons with the Diamondbacks.
During the off-season the Diamondbacks shipped Reynolds off to the Baltimore Orioles and he hasn't slowed down much. In his first season with the Baltimore Orioles he has hit 20 home runs through the first 83 games.
The sad thing is that Reynolds has yet to appear in a home run derby even though he has shown over the past three and half seasons to be one of the better home run hitters.
Paul Konerko is probably the most underrated slugger in the game today. It seems every year people write him off and say that Father Time has caught up to him and his numbers will start to drop. This has not been the case for the 15 year veteran.
Over the past seven years, he has hit over 30 home runs in five of them. This season has been no different as he already has 22 home runs and is tied for fifth in the majors.
The best slugger over the past decade has been Albert Pujols and is a three-time participant in the Derby but never won it. The guy makes home runs look effortless with his swing and how much power he generates with his bat.
He has hit 40 or more home runs six of the past eight years, with his highest coming in 2006 when he hit 49. This year has been a down year for the first baseman who has struggled, for his standards, early on then went on the DL with a broken wrist.
He returned almost a month ahead of schedule and I think even with a wrist that may not be 100 percent he would be one of the favorites in the contest this year.
Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira
This New York Yankee duo makes my list as top sluggers not to be in the Home Run Derby. Teixeira has made a career of being a top slugger in the majors hitting no less than 26 home runs, which came his rookie year, and hitting at least 30 home runs every season since.
He is currently tied for second with Granderson for home runs this season with 25. Curtis Granderson has already surpassed his home run total from last season when he hit 24. Many are surprised by his recent power but he did hit 30 home runs in his last season with Detroit.
Many scouting reports of Granderson through the years was that he had the potential to be a 30 home run, 30 stolen base player. Looking at him, he doesn't look like a normal power slugger but has a similar body type to another home run hitter, Alfonso Soriano.