Can Stanton Go Back, Back, Back, Back to Back?
Meet the Contestants
The Home Run Derby is the most exciting part of the All-Star Break. Giancarlo Stanton will be looking to defend his title in his home ballpark in Miami while big bombers like rookie sensations Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger look to dethrone last years champion. Stanton has 24 home runs going into today while Judge already broke Joe DiMaggio's record for the most home runs in a rookie season by a Yankee with 30. While Bellinger comes in at 24 bombs, these three look to lead the show for a must-see event.
The first round will play out as followed: Stanton against Gary Sanchez(13), Judge against Justin Bour(19), Mike Moustakas(25) against Miguel Sano(20) and Bellinger against Charlie Blackmon(18). Although Blackmon is a leadoff hitter in Colorado he has shown his power capabilities over these past few seasons and is off to one of his hottest starts leading up to the All-Star break in his young career. Blackmon appears to be the weakest of the Derby contestants though for a few reasons: 1) He plays in Colorado where the air is thinner 2) He holds the lowest exit velocity of all the players home runs 3) He is a line drive hitter with a large ballpark in Miami and high fences. Nonetheless best of luck to Blackmon on his first go around in the derby.
Sanchez has the lowest home run total in this years derby, but he has 13 bombs this season while missing a handful of games to a bicep injury earlier in the year. He has totaled since being in the big leagues 33 home runs in less than 100 games. He has proven to be able to hit the long ball consistently while he is in the lineup, so batting practice for home runs should be interesting.
Justin Bour has gone under the radar with his home runs probably since Stanton takes all of the attention away from him. Bour is one of the bigger guys in the league and with him facing Aaron Judge it should make for an interesting first round between them.
Miguel Sano is one of the rising stars in this league and has shown his signs of greatness, when he is not striking out. He is one of the most dangerous hitters in the game and the Twins have a lot of potential this season giving Sano a much deserved spot on this years All-Star team.
The last arrival for the American League All-Star team in Mike Moustakas is nothing short of what should have been a sure thing. With 25 bombs he would of been one of the list of most home runs before the All-Star break without making the team. Not exactly a list someone wants to be on and he was able to avoid it. With the Royals fighting for a playoff spot and the American League Central this season it came as a surprise that he was not able to make the original cut and instead it was left up to the finalist voting, but the man he faces round one, Sano and Jose Ramirez from the Cleveland Indians are both having huge seasons for their respective teams. Just a bad year to be a third baseman in the American League or National League for that matter and expect to make the All-Star team, these three earned it.
Aaron Judge has proven this year that he is a complete hitter laying off of the tough pitches that he was swinging at last season when he was struggling. He is hitting for average and currently has a chance for the triple crown besides a dead lock on Rookie of the Year in the American League.
Cody Bellinger is a shoe in for the National League Rookie of the Year as he is going is on a tear but has struggled as of late. He was at one point just two dingers off the pace of Judge and has fallen behind by sick and fallen from a .278 average down to .259.
Giancarlo Stanton is trying to win back-to-back Home Run Derby's but he has his work cut out for him with these sluggers that are in this year's derby. He hit a record 61 home runs last year in route to victory over Todd Frazier.
Get Your Tape Measures Ready
With Statcast being a phenomenon around the league each one of these men has hit some long home runs. Out of these men Bour's longest home run of the season is 437 feet which is the shortest long ball.
Bellinger comes in with his longest home run at 438 feet. He has hit the majority of his home runs either into right field or center pulling the ball mostly at Dodger Stadium.
Next is Moustakas with his longest home run being measured at 440 feet at Kauffman Stadium.
Then, Gary Sanchez's longest home run is 450 feet hitting it into deep left field, also pulling the ball while in Yankee Stadium.
After that, is Charlie Blackmon hitting a 458-foot home run at Coors Field. Although the air is the the beard still has been off to a tear and should not be taken lightly.
Next, is Sano hitting a 461-foot home run, the pop only gets better from here.
Stanton has hit one of the farthest balls every year and this year comes into the All-Star break with the second highest amongst the derby contestants. His longest home run this year so far is 468 feet, but has hit three balls over 450 feet one of two people to do so performing in the contest.
The other is Aaron Judge. Saving the best for last is an understatement at this point in the season. His longest home run has not landed yet, 495-foot home run that came down in the last row in the left-center field bleachers. The fans were just minding their own business in territory that is almost untouchable and next thing they know here comes a baseball at 118 mph.
These guys will hit it as hard as they can as far as they can and as often as they can. Get some wings your favorite beverage and a good seat because this is going to be fun.