Yoenis Cespedes stepped up to the plate Monday night at the 2013 Home Run Derby. The Oakland Athletics‘ slugger wasted no time getting everyone’s attention in the first round, as he belted out 17 home runs.
Cespedes’ 17 homers in the first round put him in a tie for third place for the most in a single round in derby history, behind Bobby Abreu (24), Josh Hamilton (28).
When asked about the spotlight of the derby, Cespedes said through a translator that he wasn’t nervous at all:
“Before I came they asked me if I was going to be nervous because I would be participating in front of possibly 50,000 people. When I was in Cuba, I participated in five home run derbies – it wasn’t 50,000 people, but it was 30,000 or 32,000 people and I wasn’t nervous.”
The A’s slugger was all the buzz on social media as he continued to blast home runs. The estimate is that there were about 10,000 derby tweets per minute as the night heated up. Cespedes himself, has gained over 24,000 followers in less than 24 hours.
This was no doubt his coming out party, as playing with the small market A’s doesn’t really get him a ton of national recognition. He and Bryce Harper put on one heck of a show for the fans. Their final round was about as entertaining as it gets. Harper looked like he had gained all the momentum by putting a solid eight-spot on the board, but Cespedes wasn’t to be denied, and easily passed Harper’s mark with multiple outs to spare. In total, he finished 32 home runs.
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