Ryan Howard won the Home Run Derby in 2006 and again participated in 2007 and 2009. He's since stayed away because he claims that the derby disrupts his swing.
I've continuously heard this from hitters, but my question is...don't MLB players have their own home run derbies in batting practice everyday?
Over the last decade or so, Bud Selig has used All-Star week as a way to showcase the new ballparks around Major League Baseball. As the combatants spray the baseball around to all parts of the yard, the Home Run Derby is a great way to tour all dimensions of the ballpark.
My pick for this year's derby...I think David Ortiz goes back-to-back, but I'm very interested to see Jose Bautista.
The only gripes I have is that I would've liked to see Justin Upton and Ichiro get a shot at it.
NOTE: The derbies on this list include ones since 1995, the first year of the multi-round format.