MLB’s Home Run Derby at all times makes for an thrilling present.
Watching the sport’s greatest energy hitters slug it out, launching baseballs so far as attainable in a short while span. This yr will likely be significantly thrilling because the occasion will likely be held in the launching pad of Coors Field.
One participant is already confirmed for the occasion with Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani announcing he’ll be participating. Young Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has reportedly opted out of displaying off his energy swing, as has Cubs shortstop Javier Baez.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has determined not take part at this yr’s Home Run Derby.
He’s trying ahead to being on the All Star Game in Colorado however advised me he’d like to use the time to regroup, refresh mentally for the second half of the season. #BlueJays
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) June 21, 2021
So now the query left is who will join Ohtani? We’re doing our greatest to work out a number of the players that may add to the fun of the present. With solely eight complete spots, and one stuffed, we’re taking a look at seven different players that might assist fill out the field.
Ronald Acuna Jr.
One of the juniors has already opted out of the Home Run Derby, however followers are going to want to see as a lot of them as attainable in the occasion, and Acuna Jr. could be a must-watch performer. Acuna trails solely Fernando Tatis Jr. in the NL in dwelling runs as he sits at 20 and 10 of them have been no-doubters, according to Baseball Savant. One of these traveled 481 ft, the second-longest shot this season.
It’s extra than simply the house runs he is hit this season. His profile simply seems like somebody that may placed on a present on the derby. His max exit velocity of 117.2 mph places him at fifth greatest this season, the common exit velo of 93.8 is seventh greatest and his 11.9 % barrel per plate look is fifth in the massive leagues. Acuna is hitting the ball as exhausting as anybody in the majors and with the extent of pleasure he brings to the sport, he could be a fantastic match for the Home Run Derby.
Alonso has not been swinging with the identical energy stroke he had in his dynamic rookie season the place he launched 53 homers, however he is the defending Home Run Derby champion, having crushed Guerrero in the ultimate spherical again in 2019. As the reigning champ, he ought to have the possibility to reclaim his title with one other spot in the 2021 field.
The Mets first baseman would possibly solely be at 11 dwelling runs, however he’s stinging the ball each time he hits it. His common exit velocity is 92.6 — tied for nineteenth greatest in the majors — and his max exit velo of 117.1 is sixth, according to Baseball Savant. Of his 11 homers, 9 have been no-doubters. The Polar Bear has as a lot energy as anybody in the massive leagues, and even with the decrease numbers, he ought to have an opportunity to be a back-to-back champion.
Devers usually slides beneath the radar with the younger wave of expertise that has risen up, however the 24-year-old Red Sox third baseman is having fun with yet one more massive marketing campaign in Boston. Devers had a breakout season in 2019, struggled in the start of the shortened 2020 season, and now in 2021, he is again to mashing baseballs. He’s already launched 18 bombs and, according to Baseball Savant, has an anticipated dwelling run complete of 20.6, trailing solely Ohtani and Royals catcher Salvador Perez.
And his statcast profile this season has been absurd. He’s in the 92nd percentile or above in common exit velocity, max exit velocity, hard-hit price, xwOBA, xBA, xSLG and barrel price. He’s tied with Ohtani and Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez at thirteenth in the common dwelling run distance at 417 ft, together with his longest homer of the yr touring 452 ft.
Mercedes has been one of many largest tales of the yr as a participant who by no means had a lot acclaim as a prospect to a potent run producer in the center of a playoff contender. And although his seven dwelling runs are the fewest of anybody on this checklist, they have been the most important bombs. He’s launching dwelling runs at a mean of 439 ft and his 485 foot shot earlier in the yr is the farthest hit ball this season, according to Baseball Savant. His shortest dwelling run of the yr went 421 ft
Yes, Mercedes has cooled off considerably because the begin of May (two homers, .184/.248/.259 slash line) and sure, there are various players in the majors which have extra dwelling runs this season than Mercedes. But he is been enjoyable to watch, and the Home Run Derby is all concerning the pleasure of the occasion, so why not embrace him?
There’s at all times bought to be one hometown hero for the followers to root for, and this yr the plain Rockie could be McMahon. The infield utility man is up to 16 dwelling runs on the yr with a career-high slugging share of .508 to date this season and he is tied with Kyle Schwarber for seventh with 17.6 anticipated dwelling runs, indicating he ought to have about two extra homers this yr than he already has.
McMahon has at all times proven that he has loads of energy in the massive leagues. In 2019, he launched a career-high 24 dwelling runs and adopted that up with 9 in 52 video games final season. This season, he is simply making extra constant exhausting contact, with career-highs in hard-hit price (48.6), common exit velocity (92) and his second highest barrel price at 9.7 %, per Baseball Savant.
No one hits the ball tougher than Stanton. So far this season, he owns the league’s hardest hit ball at 120.2 mph and amongst batters with not less than 100 batted balls, his common of 97.4 mph paces the league, according to Baseball Savant.
He additionally has loads of expertise in the occasion. Stanton received the Home Run Derby again in 2016 in Petco Park, a ballpark thought of to be one of many least hitter-friendly, so a visit to Coors might give him the possibility to actually placed on a present. In 51 video games this season, he is already launched 13 dwelling runs — 5 of which, Statcast has known as no-doubters. And at 471 ft, he already has one of many longest dwelling runs hit this season.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
Of course the dynamic Padres shortstop would make for an thrilling bat in the Home Run Derby. Tatis could be day-to-day with a shoulder harm for the time being, however when he is wholesome, he is one of many recreation’s greatest energy hitters. According to Baseball Savant, he’s tied for the MLB lead with 14 no-doubter dwelling runs, and he trails solely Guerrero and Ohtani for the house run lead with 22 bombs to date.
And simply check out his batted ball profile. He’s in the ninetieth percentile or above in common exit velocity, max exit velocity, hard-hit price, barrel price and anticipated slugging share. Tatis punishes baseballs. And in the ambiance of Coors Field — a park he’s very aware of as an NL West foe — he might do some critical harm to baseballs.