Every year, MLB fans across the country anticipate the prestigious All-Star Game. However, before the All-Star Game takes place, fans are treated to the all-exciting home run derby, where players across the American and National Leagues compete for slugging dominance. With the list of participants for this year’s derby finalized on July 3, it’s only appropriate to highlight some of the competitors going into Monday’s contest.
1. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins LF/RF
If there’s any frontrunner going into the derby, it’s without a doubt the 2016 Home Run Derby champ, Giancarlo Stanton. Not only does Stanton have an advantage as the only participant this year to have previously been in a derby, his stats don’t lie either. With 231 career home runs, and 23 of those being from this season alone, the 2014 Silver Slugger Award winner and 2014 NL home run champion definitely has the upper hand between power and experience going into this year’s contest.
2. Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees C
When it was announced that Gary Sanchez had been invited to the event, it came as a surprise to both fans and players, ultimately leading to some controversy. While Sanchez might be the underdog in this year’s derby, by no means should his stats be taken likely. During his rookie season, Sanchez made headlines hitting 11 home runs during a 15-game stretch. This season, despite missing 21 games due to injury, Sanchez has managed 13 home runs, one of which went 450 ft vs. the Baltimore Orioles. Sanchez’s on-field charisma combined with his talent is exactly what sets him apart from the rest of the competitors this year and will surely be on full display come July 10.
3. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees RF
All experience aside, Aaron Judge absolutely has the potential to reign supreme as the MLB’s top slugger. The AL’s Rookie of the Month for April, May and June has been making headlines all across media outlets and it’s no surprise why. To list all of the records and accomplishments he has reached this season alone would take forever, but some of his most impressive feats include holding the record for the fastest home run exit velocity at 121.1 mph and the record for the longest home run of the 2017 season at 495 ft. All this in mind, there’s no doubt that Judge’s performance this Monday could steal the show.
4. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers 1B/OF
It’s only Cody Bellinger’s first season in the MLB and already he’s stood out as someone to keep an eye on in coming years. He’s recognized as being the first Dodgers player to hit five home runs within his first 11 games and set a new Dodgers rookie record when he had his sixth multi–home run game near the end of June. He is also the first rookie in MLB history with 10 home runs in a 10-game span. Bellinger has already had a huge impact within the Dodgers organization and has the potential to be one of their all-time greats. It’s only expected that the home run derby could be yet another defining moment for his young career.
Written by Athlete CRUSH Staff Member, Lauren Marhefka
Posted 7 July 2017