Monday, July 11, 2011

2011 All Star Game Home Run Derby Preview & Predictions

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-Digger's Daily-

It's muscle flexing time for a select few All Stars. 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby is tonight. David Ortiz (AL) & Prince Fielder (NL) are contest captains who hand picked their squads. Four players per league participating this year. On paper, Ortiz AL teammates looking stronger than their NL counterparts.

All participants get 10 outs per round, with the four players with the most homers advancing to a second round. The two players with the highest cumulative number of long balls after the second round advance to the Championship Round, where first- and second-round homers do not carry over.

AL - Jose Bautista, Robinson Cano, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz.
NL - Prince Fielder, Matt Holliday, Matt Kemp, Richie Weeks.

Be reminded, this is glorified batting practice. Don't be surprised if some or all of these sluggers bring their personal bp pitchers with them to the event. On paper, AL hitters will be too much to handle. Bautista, Gonzo & Ortiz can knock the ball out of any park and the balls will be flying in Phoenix. Cano is the wild card here. His swing is one of the best in baseball. Smooth, line drive smacker. Not necessarily made for a home run derby ... however, one little upper cut adjustment could win it all. NL hitters, beyond Fielder, do not appear to be the same homer class. They're all great hitters but probably not the best picks for a HR contest.

Key to success is not swinging at every pitch. Sluggers will need to be patient to preserve endurance. Taking at least one pitch between swings is key. It's easy to get tired hacking at everything. Josh Hamilton put on a historic opening round ball smashing display to remember a few short years ago in Yankee Stadium. Guess what? He wasn't the victor. Stamina goes a long way to winning. Who will win it all in 2011? Place your bets!

1st Round totals
Bautista 15
Ortiz 13
Gonzalez 13
Fielder 10
Cano 9
Holliday 8
Kemp 5
Weeks 5

2nd Round
Bautista 11 (26)
Ortiz 10 (23)
Fielder 10 (20)
Gonzalez 6 (19)


  1. I think Gonzalez will win. Ortiz may get a little cocky. But Kemp shouldn't finish second to-last...

  2. You might be right. I guessed based on past performers knowing what to expect. Meaning, they'll take plenty of pitches to preserve swinging strength. Kemp has a great shot too. I'm guessing he'll be a bit too aggressive and burns out earlier than others.

  3. Way to go Robby Cano! Cano having his Dad pitch was classic. A golden All Star father & son moment.