The New York Yankees’ second baseman, Robinson Cano couldn’t have done worse than he did last year in the Home Run Derby, hitting zero balls out in Kansas City. Cano was a captain last year, opting not to put the Kansas City Royals’ Billy Butler on the American League team, which Royals fans did not take lightly.
They booed him mercilessly the entire All-Star break, cheering deafeningly when he would make an out during the derby. That’s all they did last year because he did not hit a home run, an embarrassing moment in his illustrious career. He laughingly played it off, but there is no doubt it hurt his pride.
This year, he was the captain of the team again, this time in New York at Citi Field, but the results of his first round were not much better. He only hit four home runs, even breaking his bat on his final out. Breaking a bat in the derby is also a rare occurrence, but not as embarrassing as going putting up a zero as he did the prior year.
The one thing he can hang his hat on is that he picked the Oakland Athletics’ outfielder, Yoenis Cespedes, to be a teammate for the American League. Cano waited an extra day to make Cespedes his final pick, and it seemed like the right choice to make. The power-hitting outfielder hit 17 homers in the first round of the derby, 12 of them traveling more than 400 feet, scorching multiple shots to the upper deck in the large Citi Field ballpark. Cespedes put on a show, even hitting one to right-center field, an opposite center-field homer that doesn’t often occur in these contests. He ended up with 23 homers through the first two rounds.
Cespedes only needed five outs to beat the Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper nine to eight in the final round, giving the American League four straight wins in the derby. The American League also beat out the National League in total home runs for the first two rounds, 44-42. So even with lackluster performances in two derbies in a row, Cano did select the better all-around team.