As enjoyable as the MLB All-Star Game usually is, it's fair to say that the most highly-anticipated event of the All-Star festivities is the Home Run Derby. There is no more exciting play in baseball than the home run, and fans will be treated to a ton of them on Monday night as the league's top sluggers will treat Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium like a launching pad.
It may be a glorified batting practice exhibition in some ways, but the Home Run Derby has become an iconic event and it is something that the fans always look forward to. New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano surprised a lot of people when he won last year, but he will be back to defend his crown against some very stiff competition.
Keep reading for all the vital information on where and when to watch Monday's Home Run Derby, as well as a complete listing of all the participants.
Where: Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
When: Monday, July 9 at 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: MLB.com
Robinson Cano (NYY)
Jose Bautista (TOR)
Prince Fielder (DET)
Mark Trumbo (LAA)
Matt Kemp (LAD)
Carlos Gonzalez (COL)
Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)
Carlos Beltran (STL)
AL Slugger to Watch: Robinson Cano
New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano may not be the best pure home run hitter in the game, but he does have the purest swing. That effortless stroke paid dividends last year as Cano secured the Home Run Derby crown. He will look to become the first back-to-back winner since Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1998 and 1999, but it obviously won't be an easy task.
Cano is more of a line-drive hitter, so you wouldn't think that his tendencies would be conducive to a home-run hitting contest. When Cano gets into one, though, it goes a long way. One of the big stories last year was Cano's father pitching to him and that will be the case once again this year. It will be interesting to see if the father-son synergy works for Robby once again.
NL Slugger to Watch: Giancarlo Stanton
Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is nursing a right knee injury, so his status for the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game is somewhat uncertain, but Stanton has maintained that he expects to be ready to participate in both.
If he does, it will certainly be a sight to behold. There are a lot of guys with immense power in this competition, but none of them have the majestic, light-tower power that the Marlins' superstar does.
Stanton got off to a fairly slow start this season, but he has really come on as of late and has 19 homers on the year. It won't be about how many home runs Stanton hits in this contest, rather it will be about how far they go. Stanton has hit scoreboards as well as the Marlins' monstrosity out in center field with his long balls this year, so perhaps he will put one in the fountains way out in center field at Kauffman Stadium on Monday night.
This year's field is so strong that literally anyone is capable of winning, but I would be hard pressed to pick against Cano. His swing ensures that he won't get tired over the course of the competition and that gives him a big advantage over the other contestants. Add in the fact that he has a familiar pitcher in his dad, and I like Cano to win consecutive derbies for the first time since Junior more than a decade ago.
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