Preceding the 2014 All-Star Game on Tuesday is the Home Run Derby. This year’s rendition is following a new formant where the leaders after the first round will get a bye and automatically advance to the semifinals.
Also new this year is both AL and NL teams will have five players instead of four and each round will have seven out instead of the previous 10.
Here are the participants in this years Home-Run Derby:
American League Team
Jose Bautista (Captain) – Toronto Blue Jays
This will be Bautista’s second appearance in the Home Run Derby and his fist since being the runner up in 2012. The outfielder had a solid first half, hitting 17 home runs for the Blue Jays. The last four Home Run Derby champs have been from the American League and Bautista will look to keep that streak going.
Yoenis Cespedes – Oakland Athletics
Cespedes is the defending champion and is looking to become the first back-to-back winner since Ken Griffey Jr. won in 1998 and 1999. Cespedes hit a total of 32 home runs in last year’s Derby and is considered a strong favorite to repeat as champion. Cespedes has hit 14 homers thus far.
Josh Donaldson – Oakland Athletics
Donaldson is making his first Derby appearance and could be a sleeper pick with his 20 home runs this season. The third baseman has shown plenty of power and trails Nelson Cruz by one for the most opposite field home runs in the AL.
Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
For Dozier this will be a special occasion as he’s representing the host city and he is trying to become only the second player to win the Derby in his ballpark.
Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
Jones will try to become the first Baltimore Oriole to win the contest since 2003 when Miguel Tejada won. Jones has hit 16 home runs this season.
Troy Tulowitzki(Captain) – Colorado Rockies
Tulowitzki finished tied for the NL lead with 21 home runs in the first half, with 14 of them coming at hitter-friendly Coors Field. The shortstop is looking to become the first Rockies player to win the Home Run Derby.
Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds
Frazier has had a solid sophomore season as he’s already matched his home run total from last year at 19. He’s also driven in 53 runs for the Reds and is hitting .290. This is Frazier’s first time participating in the Home Run Derby.
Justin Morneau – Colorado Rockies
After spending his first 10 seasons and part of an 11th season with the Minnesota Twins, Morneau makes a homecoming. Being a left-handed hitter may help the first baseman as seven of the previous nine winners have hit from the left side of the plate.
Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
Puig enters the derby with plenty of hype and promise as the flashy outfielder will look to become the first Dodger to ever win the contest. Puig enters with 12 home runs and may make one half of an all-Cuban final.
Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
Stanton has been one of the best power hitters in baseball since his debut and had a strong first half with 21 home runs for the Marlins. Stanton hit the second-longest homer this season at 484 feet and is also another favorite to win the Derby because of his proven power with the bat.
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