The 2013 Home Run Derby took place from Citi Field in New York City Monday night, and the participants put on one heck of a show for the fans. The first round was entertaining from start to finish, as everybody hit at least four home runs and four different players hit shots greater than 450 ft. But it was Yoenis Cespedes who stole the show, as he smashed 17 dingers. This would become a theme the rest of the night.
Defending champion Prince Fielder and both hometown favorites David Wright and Robinson Cano, failed to make it past round one. Cespedes cruised in round two, and Bryce Harper had a strong enough showing to move into the finals.
The championship round looked like it was going to be all about Harper, as he smashed eight more homers to lead off the round, but Cespedes just wouldn’t quit. After hitting 23 homers over the first two rounds, he went on to beat Harper’s final round total in only six outs.
This was definitely a coming out party for Cespedes, as many casual fans probably aren’t familiar with him. He was a bit of a controversial choice for the derby because he didn’t make the All-Star team, but Cano’s decision to put him on the AL squad payed off. Cespedes put on an absolute show for the fans all night. His 455-footer to win it was just icing on the cake.
Having two young guns in the finals of this competition is great for MLB, as it should help generate more interest for next year. With all the talk about the Home Run Derby being outdated and stale, the 2013 edition proved why it’s still one of the best spectacles in sports.
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