Home Run Derby prep

Think of it as an orgasm for the eyes; MLB is bringing you nothing but moon shots as eight All-Stars will slug it out tonight to see who will be crowned the king of the 2009 Home Run Derby.

It’s unfortunate that great pitchers like Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine had to find out hard way that chicks dig the long ball. But apparently it’s not just the female contingency, according to ESPN polls almost 70 percent of people actually prefer to watch the Home Run Derby rather than the All-Star game itself.

Aside from Carlos Pena, there aren’t any real true home run hitters representing the American League at the Home Run Derby. So that means I have to give the edge to the National League because all four of their hitters have 30+ home runs as their career average whereas the AL has just one hitter with those kind of numbers.


Batter HR’s (This Season) HR’s (Career High) HR’s (Career AVG)
Carlos Pena 24 46 34
Joe Mauer 15 13 15
Brandon Inge 19 27 18
Nelson Cruz 22 9 28
Albert Pujols 32 46 43
Ryan Howard 22 58 49
Prince Fielder 22 50 37
Adrian Gonzalez 24 36 31

In the end, do any of those numbers even matter? I guess anything can happen since they’ll all be hitting 65 MPH batting practice fastballs anyway. Albert Pujols is the odds on favourite to win the HR Derby according to BetUS.com but I wouldn’t be surprised if a dark horse pick like Adrian Gonzalez wins it all. But thankfully I’m not putting my money where my mouth is because last year I picked Dan Uggla to win the derby and he didn’t even make it out of the first round.

So what do these sluggers get for all their trouble? A shiny silver trophy and a potential downfall in the second half of the season if you believe in the Home Run Derby curse. That’s why I’m glad that Aaron Hill turned down the chance to represent the AL in the HR Derby. He doesn’t want to mess up his swing and I respect his choice to decline the invitation because he can’t afford to drop off after the All-Star break.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

2 thoughts on “Home Run Derby prep

  • July 13, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I think I agree on Hill. But do you have some of the columns mixed up there? 3 of your ALers have averages greater than their career highs – which seems odd, mainly in a mathematical sort of way.

  • July 14, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Yeah I know, it's kind of weird. Those are 162 game average – it's career games played divided by 162. So some of the guys like Cruz and Mauer have higher career AVG's because they have played less games.

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