5 Players Missing From 2013 Home Run Derby
5 Players Who Should Have Been in 2013 Home Run Derby
When it comes to All-Star festivities, MLB has it down. The MLB All-Star Game is far and away the most popular in sports, and the Home Run Derby complements the game better than any other exhibition in any other sport.
Baseball fans got their fix of the long-ball Monday night, as Yoenis Cespedes outlasted Bryce Harper to win the 2013 Home Run Derby.
David Wright and Robinson Cano were selected as captains for their respective leagues, and they ended up doing a much better job selecting their teammates for the Derby than actually contributing to the Derby itself. But were they the best picks possible?
Cano chose two-time champion and last year's winner Prince Fielder and baseball's leading home run hitter Chris Davis. His wildcard selection was Cespedes, who had a modest 15 home runs coming in, but proved to be a wise choice, obviously.
Wright selected fan-favorite Bryce Harper, Pedro Alvarez to replace Carlos Gonzalez, and the little-known Michael Cuddyer, who advanced to the second round of the Derby. While I don't think Alvarez and Cuddyer were the wrong picks by any means, I couldn't help but notice the lack of amusement by the crowd at Citi Field when these two were up. You could hardly pick up on any reaction when they left the yard. It was like fans decided to go get a hot dog or use the bathroom when Alvarez and Cuddyer stepped in the box. I'm sure Pirates and Rockies fans were thrilled to see their guys in the Derby, but for fans of the game in general, I think there were some better players to showcase.
The worst selections for the long-ball contest turned out to be the captains themselves, who finished at the bottom of the competition. The selection of David Wright as captain is completely understandable as the event is being hosted by his New York Mets. But Cano as captain of the AL team is a little confusing. I get that the game is in New York and MLB thought it would be cute to have captains from both of the city's teams, but this All-Star Game should be about the hosting Mets and only about the Mets. Cano hit a grand total of zero home runs in last year's Home Run Derby. Fielder won the thing. Fielder should have been captain. It would have freed up a spot for one of the more deserving AL hitters.
While I don't think there is anyone in baseball who could have stopped Cespedes from his big night on Monday, here are five guys missing from this year's derby that would have provided us with a little more entertainment than some that were chosen.
5. Domonic Brown
Domonic Brown became a big story in baseball for a few weeks when he hit 12 homers in May (six in a five-game span) and won the NL Player of the Month Award. Brown finished with 23 home runs at the break, good enough for third in the National League. I'm sure he was given serious consideration by NL captain David Wright, but at 25 years of age, Brown will have plenty of chances in the future to make another case for a spot in the Derby.
4. Paul Goldschmidt
Diamondbacks first basemen Paul Goldschmidt is another guy that probably got a lot of consideration from Wright but just missed the cut. He's fourth in the NL in home runs with 21, which already bests his total from 2012 of 20. Just like Domonic Brown, Goldschmidt is 25 and only in his second full year in the majors, so expect to see this rising star in future long-ball contests.
3. Adam Jones
If Adam Jones participates in next year's Home Run Derby, do you think he'll stop trying to hog the camera at every possible moment? This was the second year in a row that Jones could be seen stopping rounds to deliver a drink and a towel, bringing food to the TV crew, and just being in front of the camera as much as possible. I mean, look at the picture above. Why is he trying to steal the spotlight during Cespedes' moment? Imagine the entertainment the young Orioles star would bring to the Home Run Derby if he was actually hitting in it. Aside from his apparent thirst for attention, he's actually very deserving of a spot in the event. He's homered 76 times since 2011 and would be a definite fan favorite if selected.
2. Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista has been one of the premier home run hitters in baseball since 2010, hitting a ridiculous 144 homers over the last three and a half seasons. He appeared in his first Home Run Derby in 2011, hitting just four balls out, but came back in 2012 and made the finals where he fell to Prince Fielder. The Blue Jays slugger has launched some moon shots over the past two years, and I think fans were excited to see him make a run at it again this year. But he wasn't picked by AL captain Robinson Cano this year, most likely because MLB didn't want to have three of the same AL guys they had in last year's competition. It should've been Cano who got the boot this year after putting up a goose egg in Kansas City last year, but I digress. Let's hope Bautista gets another shot at it in the future.
1. Mike Trout
It's possible that things may not have played out like this, but imagine a Bryce Harper/Mike Trout final in Monday night's Home Run Derby. Tell me that wouldn't have been one of the most epic Derby showdowns of all-time. Harper and Trout, the faces of baseball's future, slugging it out in front of the entire country for the title of Home Run Derby Champion. That would have been something. Granted, both stars are still extremely young and we may have a chance to see this in the future, but you can never be sure. All-Star festivities, regardless of the sport, are for the fans. The fans have already voted for Trout to start in the All-Star Game, but it's a shame that he wasn't chosen to display his power for the fans in this year's Home Run Derby.