Prince Fielder wasn’t hitting many home runs last season through the first half, so some criticized Robinson Cano for selecting Prince to the Home Run Derby.
Well, Fielder returned those criticisms by winning the 2012 edition of the contest, dominating the final two rounds of the competition. He showed the stamina needed to win the derby, understanding that it doesn’t just involve having big rounds like Josh Hamilton famously did, but about meeting the task each round with enough strength and energy to last the grueling three rounds it takes to win.
More than likely, the biggest challenge for Prince will come out of the American League because let’s face, it the National League is really only there for fairness. That’s not to say there aren’t good hitters in the NL side, but eight of the last 11 winners in the derby called the AL home. Last year, the difference was comical as the AL hit 61 total home runs while the NL hit just 21.
Yeah, you can pretty well rule out the NL side. Pedro Alvarez is the only one with a realistic chance, but he will likely fade at some point.
So who are the challengers for Prince? Well the biggest is Chris Davis — everyone knows about the 37 home runs he has in the first half, and I am sure he will put on a show. Robinson Cano is always a threat; lefties always do well, and Cano has the stamina needed to be a very real threat to Fielder.
Finally, Yoenis Cespedes will be similar to Alvarez in that they can put the homers up, but will run out of gas quickly. I expect it to come down to Fielder and Davis, with Prince winning his second Home Run Derby in a row as Davis will pull a Hamilton and dazzle early but fade late. Prince is going to bring another trophy to the Detroit Tigers tonight.