Team captains Robinson Cano and David Wright have announced the members of their 2013 Home Run Derby squads, and the two will have to beat out a talented group of sluggers if they plan on making it to the finals.
Cano picked Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and Tigers designated hitter Prince Fielder as members of the American League team. Davis is having a career year, blasting 33 home runs before the All-Star break, tied for his career season-high. Fielder has quietly notched 15 home runs on the season, keeping him on pace for his seventh consecutive 30-home run season.
Cano left one spot vacant until after the All-Star rosters are finalized. Jose Bautista (20 home runs) and Miguel Cabrera (28 home runs) are considered favorites among potential candidates. Cano was the 2011 Home Run Derby champion but was eliminated in the first round last year without a home run.
The National League team is headlined by Rockies outfielder and MVP candidate Carlos Gonzalez, who leads the NL with 24 home runs. Joining him and Wright will be fellow Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. Cuddyer, who at one point strung together a 27-game hit streak, has knocked out 15 home runs this year and will participate in his first derby.
Harper has 13 home runs in his 51 games played this year and is certain to provide excitement with his violent swing. Wright hasn’t displayed huge power numbers this year — totaling 13 home runs through 85 games — but has proven to be a competitor in the derby, taking Ryan Howard to the finals in 2006 before losing to the Philadelphia slugger.
Cano and Wright will have the hometown advantage, as the game is being played in New York at Citi Field, but look for Davis to steal the show, following suit with what he’s done all year long.