Final Round — Yoenis Cespedes: That does it from this year’s Home Run Derby at Citi Field.
From his first swing to his last, Cespedes made the Home Run Derby his stage. His 17 first-round home runs were enough to single-handedly catapult him into the finals, and his nine final-round home runs brought home the hardware.
Cespedes hit them all types of ways — frozen ropes, pop ups, moonshots and balls that are still traveling somewhere over the Atlantic right now.
The A’s star held nothing back in his first Home Run Derby appearance and will be able to enjoy a day of leisure tomorrow with his new trophy, since he was not actually selected to be an All-Star.
That truck you hit in the second round? It’s all yours, Yoenis.
Final Round – Bryce Harper: Harper’s final round was a laser show. Line drive after line drive led to eight home runs for the Washington Nationals superstar in his last attempt to take the Home Run Derby crown.
Eight home runs in the final round is a respectable performance, but with Cespedes up next, it might not be enough to top the Cuban phenom.
Harper put together an exciting and consistent derby performance, hitting eight home runs in each of the three rounds.
10:29 p.m. ET: Yoenis Cespedes (38) and Bryce Harper (35) have the fewest career home runs among Home Run Derby participants.
Cespedes has 23 tonight, compared to Harper’s 16.
Second Round – Yoenis Cespedes: Well, that was unnecessary, Yoenis. But we got a window!
Cespedes hit the truck that Cuddyer was aiming for, but I still think he should’ve gone with the bunts or maybe a left-handed batting approach.
Cespedes didn’t have to hit at all, so it will be interesting to see how much juice he has left in the final round against Harper.
His six home runs in the second round put him at a two-round total of 23.
Second Round – Bryce Harper: Unlike the Cano father-son duo, Ron Harper was able to deliver enough meaty pitches to get his son to the finals.
Harper belted eight home runs in the second run, giving him two-round total of 16, one more than Michael Cuddyer.
So it’s a Cespedes-Harper final, but it looks like Cespedes is going to take a few second round swings for fun to stay loose.
Second Round – Chris Davis: Not the performance the world expected from the muscle man, as his four home runs in the second round leave him three short of Michael Cuddyer’s total of 15.
Davis will not advance to the finals, but we’ll forgive him. He’s certainly put on a show for the past few months of the season.
With Davis only hitting four, that means Cespedes has automatically qualified for the finals without even hitting in the second round. Where’s the Staples easy button?
Second Round – Michael Cuddyer: Cuddyer must really hate Chevrolet or is in dire need of a new truck, because he was a sniper with his home run balls to center field.
Cuddyer put together a solid second round, launching eight homers to put his two-round total at 15. His 15 dingers are still two short of Yoenis Cespedes’ 17 in the first round.
Cuddyer and Harper are the only NL representatives remaining, and they have the age range covered. Cuddyer was drafted in 1997; Harper was born in 1992. Let that sink in.
9:46 p.m. ET: The first round has come to an end, and neither captain will advance.
Cespedes stole the show with his 17 long balls, but Davis and Harper had their fair share of fireworks, launching eight homers apiece.
Cuddyer also advances with his seven home runs.
The first two rounds are cumulative, and the two highest scorers advance to the finals. Cespedes has a comfortable lead, so he should probably save some energy and lay down a few bunts.
First Round – David Wright: David Wright is no stranger to home run derbies, but the slugger’s derby experience didn’t translate to home runs in his 2013 first-round appearance.
The slugger belted just five home runs, which weren’t enough to get him on to the second round. Cue the disappointed home fan grunt.
9:35 p.m. ET: National league captain David Wright is up next. This is the first time in Home Run Derby history that both N.Y. teams have been represented.
First Round – Robinson Cano: The 2011 Home Run Derby champ seemed to struggle to find his swing and was only able to muscle four homers out of the park.
Cano was also receiving pitches from his father — who threw to him when he won in 2011 — but was not able to work the same magic as he did two years ago.
A disappointing performance from American League captain results in elimination from the derby, along with Prince Fielder and Pedro Alvarez.
First Round – Bryce Harper: At age 16, Harper hit a 502-foot moonshot in a home run derby at Tropicana Field. Four years later, he’s the second youngest Home Run Derby participant in history.
And the youngster didn’t disappoint, hitting eight home runs in the first round with pitches thrown by his father.
Pitch of choice for Harper from the elder Harper: cutter.
Side notes: Harper has the most vicious swing in the majors, along with the tallest hair. The power must come from the hair spikes.
First Round – Chris Davis: Someone check this guy’s bat for a cork. But, really.
The ball was bouncing off of Davis’ bat in his first-round appearance that saw him launch eight home runs.
The MLB leader in home runs seemed a bit over-anxious to start the round, swinging at every pitch he saw, but he soon began to spray the ball all over the field with miss-hits and pop-ups that somehow landed over the wall.
First Round – Pedro Alvarez: Not a bad homecoming for my sleeper pick. Alvarez, who was raised in Manhattan, had a slow start but shook off the rust after a few swings and sent six balls into the stands.
We’ll see if that’s going to be enough to advance him into the second round, but with four contestants to go in the first round, it looks like defending champion Prince Fielder won’t make the cut.
Fielder does still have the longest shot of the night at 483 feet.
First Round – Yoenis Cespedes: “Unbelievable.” The words of David Ortiz in regards to the power of Yoenis Cespedes. And Big Papi wasn’t lying, as the Oakland A’s youngster blasted 17 home runs in the first round, including five upper-deck shots.
Cespedes is only 5-foot-10, but he packs a heavy punch. A’s fans regularly show up two hours early to watch the slugger take batting practice.
The kid can put on a show.
First Round – Michael Cuddyer: Cuddyer nearly hit the Chevy truck out in center field on his first long ball of the night, so obviously he’s sending a message that he’s out to win the new set of wheels.
The Rockies outfielder was David Wright’s Ryder Cup captain’s pick for the Derby and proved worthy of the selection, launching seven homers in the first round.
First Round – Prince Fielder: The Prince started off strong, sending balls to the bleachers on his first two swings, but he wasn’t able to muster up many more long balls.
Fielder ended with five home runs on the round, including a 483-foot moonshot on his second swing.
But hey, he did hit one out during the “gold ball” portion of the competition, which results in a $23,000 charity donation from Chevrolet.
8:07 p.m. ET: Well, we could’ve gone without the Pitbull mini-concert, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
We’re just a few minutes away from the participants setting up at the launch pad, and Robinson Cano is already bringing out the boo birds in New York.
Random fun fact: Bryce Harper (20 years, 272 days) is second-youngest player to participate in the Home Run Derby. Ken Griffey, Jr. was 20 years, 230 days old in 1990. (Griffey is one of three players in history to win more than one Derby)
7:45 p.m. ET: We are just 15 minutes away from the start of the 2013 Home Run Derby at Citi Field, and with that being said, it’s time to take a look at the favorites to take the crown.
Chris Davis (BAL) 13-4
Prince Fielder (DET) 7-2
Bryce Harper (WSH) 5-1
Pedro Alvarez (PIT) 5-1
Robinson Cano (NYY) 5-1
Yoenis Cespedes (OAK) 6-1
David Wright (NYM) 11-1
Michael Cuddyer (COL) 14-1
I could go along with 98.9 percent of the country and choose Crush Davis to run away with this year’s derby, but I am going to go with a sleeper pick. Pedro Alvarez was the last player added to the National League’s participant list, and he will be the last one standing in tonight’s derby.
12 p.m. ET: Robinson Cano and Prince Fielder both have the chance to become the third player in major league history to win multiple home run derbies, but the sluggers will have to defeat a tough lineup of power hitters — including each other — if one of them plans on making history Monday night.
Cano, the American League captain, chose Fielder, Chris Davis and Yoenis Cespedes to suit up for the AL, while National League captain David Wright chose Bryce Harper, Michael Cuddyer and Pedro Alvarez to make up his team.
At first glance, the American League has the bigger bats with Cano (2011 Home Run Derby champion), Fielder (2012 champion), Davis (MLB-leading 37 home runs at All-Star break) and Cespedes.
Cano and Fielder are already seasoned Home Run Derby veterans, Davis is knocking the laces out of every ball he hits, and Cespedes has deceptive power that is capable of winning a derby, so it seems almost certain that the crowned champion will come from the AL.
The National League roster just doesn’t have the star power — or bat power, for that matter. To put things in perspective, Davis has more home runs on the season than Wright, Harper and Cuddyer combined. Alvarez has displayed decent power numbers on the season for the Pirates, knocking 24 balls into the bleachers thus far, but the big stage and New York lights might shine too bright for this Home Run Derby rookie.
The countdown to the fireworks starts now. The show begins in eight hours.