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Tuesday, 16 July 2013 04:16

A-mazing Effort: Yoenis Cespedes wins 2013 Home Run Derby

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Photo courtesy of Major League Baseball Facebook page

FLUSHING, N.Y—Many of the game’s biggest boppers took part in tonight’s Home Run Derby but in the end, the underdog took home the crown. Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics is your 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby champion. Below is the complete breakdown of the home run totals by round. Thanks to ESPN and Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated for the numbers.

Round 1

Yoenis Cespedes  (17)   

Chris Davis          (8)

Bryce Harper      (8)         

Michael Cuddyer  (7)     

Pedro Alvarez    (6)         

Prince Fielder    (5)         

David Wright      (5)         

Robinson Cano  (4)

Round 2

Yoenis Cespedes  (23)   

Bryce Harper        (16)

Michael Cuddyer (15)

Chris Davis          (12)

Final Round

 Yoenis Cespedes (9)

Bryce Harper (8)

Cespedes’ 32 home runs in the Derby were third-most all-time, tying David Ortiz (2010) and Robinson Cano (2011) for the third most in a single Derby. His longest home run of the evening was a 455-foot moonshot to centerfield off of the batter’s eye .

Harper hit eight home runs in all three rounds of the Derby and his average distance on 23 of his home runs was 404 feet. One home run was misreported at 541 feet.  The longest home run of the evening came off the bat of Detroit Tigers’ first baseman Prince Fielder in the first round, when it traveled 483 feet.  However, for the second year in a row, the reigning Home Run Derby champion could not defend his title and Fielder was knocked out in the first round.

One of the things that surprised me tonight was how calm Cespedes looked at the plate. A lot of times, rookies in the Derby will rush their swings and hack at every pitch that is within the strike zone. However, he stayed calm at the plate and waited for his pitch. He certainly put on a good show, with his 17 home runs in the first round being the most in one round since another slugger by the name of Josh Hamilton captivated New York and Old Yankee Stadium with 28 in 2008.

Equally surprising was the relatively quick exit of two-time champ Prince Fielder.  He was bounced after the first round as his six dinger-effort was bested by Michael Cuddyer of the Colorado Rockies. He was my pick to win it all, and that just goes to show you that I should stick with writing instead of picking.

This Derby was much better than last year’s and with Cespedes being the winner, it provided a nice sense of parity. Fireworks were on display tonight and they certainly provided a nice appetizer to the All-Star game tomorrow evening.