Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cespedes Named To Home Run Derby

For just the fourth time in history a player who was not named an All-Star will compete in the Home Run Derby this year. The other three players that Oakland Athletics Yoenis Cespedes will follow into Home Run Derby history are Rafael Palmeiro (2004), Hee -seop Choi (2005) and Ryan Howard (2007).

While Palmeiro, and Howard had been All-Stars before their Home Run Derby appearances, and after, they were not elected as All-Stars the year they competed in the Home Run Derby. Only Choi was not nominated to an All-Star Game during his four-year career in Major League Baseball.

Cespedes also becomes the sixth Oakland Athletics slugger to compete in the Home Run Derby, Jose Canseco (1986, 1990), Mark McGwire (1987, 1990, 1992, 1996, 1997), Ruben Sierra (1994), John Jaha (1999) and Jason Giambi (2001).

This year Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics was chosen by AL captain Robinson Cano, to compete with Chris Davis, reigning Home Run Derby champion Prince Fielder and Cano against the National League team with captain David Wright, former Oakland Athletics outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer and Bryce Harper in the Home Run Derby.

Of note is that of the eight contestants, Cespedes is the only player to not have competed at Citi Field in an exhibition game, regular season game, or post-season game.

Cespedes, the second year Major Leaguer from Cuba who defected to the United States through the Dominican Republic has a powerful swing, and will be able to show a national audience at Citi Field on Monday, July 15, 2013 that he was chosen by Cano for the right reasons.

In his rookie season of 2012 Cespedes hit for a .292 average with 23 home runs, 82 RBIs and 70 runs scored in 129 games. So far in 2013 Cespedes has played 75 games and has a .224 batting average with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and 46 runs scored.

While Cespedes has yet to play a full season without injury, he has put up impressive numbers while he is on the field. It is only a matter of time before the All-Star nominations come for the Oakland slugger.

The Home Run Derby format is similar to years past where each of the eight batters will get 10 outs in round one. After the first round half the competition is eliminated, regardless of league. The second round, a field of four batters, will get 10 more outs, where two players, with the least amount of home runs will be eliminated, regardless of league, taking us to the final round. Where two players, once again regardless of league will compete in another 10 out round to see who will be crowned the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby champion.

Players can add the total of their first two rounds, but home runs do not carry over to the finals.
Last year, Fielder defeated the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista, 12-7, in the final round.

If Cespedes can win the Home Rub Derby this year he will become only the second Oakland Athletics player to win the Home Run Derby, the other was McGwire in 1992.

This year there is more on the line than just bragging rights for being the Home Run Derby champion this year though as a total of $150,000 goes to the winning captain's charity in his name. Another $100,000 goes to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in the name of the winning captain. While $25,000 goes to the charity of the captain of the losing team in his name.

In addition to that, each gold ball hit for a home run will add to the total donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

The 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby will be televised on July 15, 2013 on ESPN at 5 p.m. PST.