Home Run Derby Live Blog: Prince Fielder Wins Derby With Assault on Kauffman Stadium Fountain


Home Run Derby Live Blog: Prince Fielder Wins Derby With Assault on Kauffman Stadium FountainFinal, Prince Fielder Wins: Well, Fielder clearly deserved to take that competition, getting into an absolute zone in the final round and blasting the most consistently long home runs of the night.

An impressive performance all the way around by the son of Cecil, who participated in a couple derbies himself.

That's it from us, but you can log on to NESN.com tomorrow for our companion All-Star Game blog. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.

Final, 2nd Batter: You have to wonder if this tweet is motivated by, you know, having also been booed a few times.

Final, 1st Batter: Attention: Angel Stadium. Please look to Kauffman as an example of how to do a classy water feature.

For those not in the know, the home of the Los Angeles Angels features a faux rock waterfall out in center field, that looks very much the remnant of Disney ownership that it in fact is.

Coors Field also has a very pretty water feature in front of the rock pile seats, a mock-up of a Colorado brook.

Final, 1st Batter: Has anyone else noticed that Prince Fielder and John Kruk have the same body type?

Round 3, Swing-Off: And we have our finalists. It will be Prince Fielder versus Jose Bautista going against each other in the final round.

Round 3, 4th Batter: We have some drama at the Home Run Derby. With Bautista and Trumbo tied, we're headed to a swing off.

It's all-too appropriate, with two of the most powerful men in baseball going head-to-head.

Round 3, 3rd Batter: So with Bautista coming up only two behind him, it looks like Trumo won't make it into the final. However, it's safe to say that he put on the most impressive display in terms of distance, as it certainly looked like he took one completely out of the stadium.

He also hit two into the fountain, for a derby total of 11 on the evening.

Round 2, 3rd Batter: And here comes Trumbo again. We'd tell everyone in Omaha to watch out… if Omaha weren't in the opposite direction. Thanks for the deadpan, George Brett.

Round 2, 2nd Batter: Beltran goes into the water twice, for nine on the night total.

As an aside, is it just me, or does watching John Kruk suck down ribs kill your appetite? Also, is that a form of cannibalism?

Round 2, 1st Batter: Fielder finishes with four waterballs (seven total on the night) and 16 home runs overall after his two rounds. He'll have a legitimate shot to move into the final.

Round 2, 1st Batter: Fielder does it again. That's six.

From this point on, we should probably just sit back and wait on Fielder's session to end.

Round 2, 1st Batter: Fielder goes into the waterworks again, and that's five wet ones on the night.

Round 2, 1st Batter: Fielder splashes down! And trust me, when he splashes down he creates tsunamis.

That's four waterballs on the night. Did someone make a wish?

Round 1: Miami Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison decided to weigh in with his thoughts on Cano's poor showing.

Round 1, 8th Batter: So, basically, each of the captains completely flailed out there.

Either way, in terms of pure power, the four remaining are probably the cream of the crop, so this should continue to be an exciting contest. Who's ready for more Trumbo?

Round 1, 8th Batter: Okay, this is pretty entertaining, watching the Kansas City crowd delight in Cano's failings.

Not sure why the crowd is cheering to hard against the Yankees second baseman aside from the fact that he plays in New York, but either way it's good for a laugh.

Round 1, 7th Batter: After an anemic showing there, it recalls Kemp's showing in Arizona last year, where he hit two, giving him three total in the last two derbies. Maybe they shouldn't let him in next year.

Round 1, 6th Batter: Fielder hits one into the fountain. That's the third waterball on the evening.

Round 1, 6th Batter: Looks like Prince Fielder was feeling pretty confident coming into today:

Round 1, 6th Batter: Splashdown redux! Prince Fielder sends the second ball of the day into the Kauffman Stadium fountains, an arcing bomb to straightaway left field.

Round 1, 6th Batter: So currently Carlos Beltran stands tied for second with seven home runs as the first batter to come up in the competition.

Want to see how he did it? Yeah, you do.

Round 1, 5th Batter: Finally! McCutchen becomes the first to put one in the fountains, with a line-drive shot to left center. That's the first water shot of the day; we'll continue to keep track.

Round 1, 5th Batter: There was a brief period this year when Trumbo was teammates with Bobby Abreu, who put on perhaps one of the two most memorable rounds in derby history — the other being Josh Hamilton.

In 2006, Abreu hit a record 41 longballs in Comerica Park, many of them absolute bombs.

Round 1, 4th Batter: Impressive show from Trumbo there, now let's see if it holds up. Not only did the Angels outfielder and first baseman hit some of the longest home runs you'll ever see, but the shorter ones were almost as equally impressive, being that he hit two of them practically off his shoe tops on a line.

Round 1, 4th Batter: And here comes Trumbo. Let's see if his inexperience in the event turns out to be the equalizer. But again, he has as much power as anyone in this event.

Round 1, 3rd Batter: So close! Gonzalez just came within a few feet of sending one into the fountain. We're still waiting for that first water shot.

Round 1, 3rd Batter: Carlos Gonzalez may be a hitter, but it will be interesting to see how his power translates a little closer to sea level and away from the mile-high environment of Coors Field. So far, with six outs and two home runs, not so well.

Round 1, 2nd Batter: Hey Red Sox fans, there's a cameo by David Ortiz, who can probably help the participants out with some advice from his win in the 2010 contest. Today, he's playing caddy, bringing a towel and some Gatorade to Bautista.

Round 1, 2nd Batter: Bautista is sure being selective up there. If the derby could transform into a game of chess, then the Blue Jays outfielder is trying to make it so, clearly having learned something from his past foray in the event.

Round 1, 1st Batter: Beltran just missed the fountains on his sixth home run, and we'll be keeping track to see who's the first one to get wet, and how balls end up in the waterworks.

Round 1, 1st Batter: On Beltran's fourth home run there, you saw an instance of how the Kansas City heat will aid the players. Off the bat, it sure didn't like Beltran got all of that one, but it just kept carrying for a home run.

8:16 p.m. ET: We have first toss! Carlos Beltran is first up, and for those wondering, the temperature in Kansas City is 88 degrees.

8:05 p.m. ET: Not too sure about the derby pregame tradition of on-field musical performances, which has been going on for a while now. Then again, the Zac Brown band — whose twang is perhaps appropriate for Kansas City — doesn't seem to really translate on a baseball telecast.

Perhaps the best, most appropriate performance? That honor would probably go to the pop punk band The Ataris, who performed their rocked-out cover of Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" before the 2003 derby at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Great song in its original, and a the cover was very nicely jazzed-up. That was a song which felt right for baseball.

7:55 p.m. ET: Further evidence for picking Trumbo? How about the fact that, at 419.5 feet, the Angels first baseman has the longest average home run distance in 2012. That's an average of more than seven-feet longer than his closest competitor in this derby.

However, it's definitely been easy to miss what Trumbo's done this year, as the big stories coming out of Los Angeles have been Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. So, catch yourself up and check out some Trumbo highlights (they call them "Trumbombs") in this MLB video.

7:30 p.m. ET: Let's run through the lineups before we get going.

American League

Jose Bautista, 2nd derby, 27 2012 home runs
Robinson Cano, 2nd, 20
Prince Fielder, 4th, 15
Mark Trumbo, 1st, 22

National League

Carlos Beltran, 1st derby, 20 2012 home runs
Carlos Gonzalez, 1st, 17
Matt Kemp, 2nd, 12
Andrew McCutchen, 1st, 18

If I'm making a pick in this one, I'd take Mark Trumbo, having watched him on a relatively everyday basis for the past couple seasons. Trumbo doesn't have the best pitch recognition skills in baseball, but in a format like this which rewards a consistent stroke and pure power, that is where I'd place my money. Not since Barry Bonds during his 'roided-up prime have I seen someone hit the ball so far so consistently. Then again, I unfortunately haven't had the opportunity to watch much of Giancarlo Stanton.

Behind him, my next bet would be either Robinson Cano for his easy power or Jose Bautista, because he's probably the best combination of all power skills. But as they say, that's why they play the game.

First toss is set for about half an hour from now.

8:45 a.m. ET: "It's going, going, going, it's…."

Chances are you'll be hearing that phrase a lot Monday night, as Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium provides the setting for the 2012 edition of the Home Run Derby. Begun in 1985, when Dave Parker hit six home runs representing the Cincinnati Reds at the Metrodome in a single round, the competition has become fierce in years since, with each year's top home run hitters compelled to take part.

In at least a couple mid-1990s video games, you could actually break the famous Kauffman Stadium fountains by hitting a home run into them. We're not sure if that's actually possible to do in real life, but if it can be done, the derby would be the time.

This year's derby features a number of interesting storylines and players and one of the best fields in years. The most notable absence is Miami Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton, who pulled out of the competition Sunday night after deciding to have arthroscopic knee surgery, which will keep him off the diamond at least a month. That's a shame, as Stanton had been noted for his mammoth blasts, but the remaining field has no shortage of players who can do the same.

New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano took last year's derby, and while he may not be the first guy you think of when hearing the phrase "raw power," he also has the advantage of what scouts call "easy power." Jose Bautista and Prince Fielder are, however, known for their pure slugging ability, while Andrew McCutchen has perhaps the best swing going this year of the group.

Then there's Mark Trumbo, who owns the longest average home run distance among the group by a good seven feet over his next closest rival. Trumbo is kind of an unknown to many — playing third fiddle in Los Angeles (of Anaheim) behind Albert Pujols and Mike Trout — but he has perhaps the best bat speed and pure power of the entire group.

The derby is set to get going at 8 p.m., so sit back, relax and follow our live blog for all of your expert home run analysis — we promise to lay off the Chris Berman jokes. About an hour before, we'll run through the entire lineup.

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