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Previewing the Home Run Derby: Prince Fielder aims for third crown

Jul 15, 2013, 3:44 PM EST

Prince Fielder AP

Prince Fielder can join Ken Griffey Jr. as the only three-time winners of the Home Run Derby on Monday night, but to do it, he’ll have to best Chris Davis, who is currently on pace to hit 60 bombs this year.

This year’s Home Run Derby field is unusual in that it features just three players currently among baseball’s top 20 home run hitters:

Davis – 37
Pedro Alvarez – 24
Robinson Cano – 21
Michael Cuddyer – 16
Fielder – 16
Yoenis Cespedes – 15
David Wright – 13
Bryce Harper – 13

Davis is the major league leader, of course, but the next three on the list are absent: Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Gonzalez, who chose to pull out due to injury. Other All-Stars with 20 homers missing include Domonic Brown, Nelson Cruz, Paul Goldschmidt and Jose Bautista.

Besides Fielder, 2011 champ Robinson Cano is the only other former HR Derby winner in the field. David Ortiz no longer appears interested in competing after winning in 2010 and finishing tied for third in 2011.

Fielder and Cano are also the only holdovers from last year’s field. Fielder won with 28 homers, include 12 in the finals to beat Bautista. Cano, who hit 32 homers in winning in 2011, went homerless last year, the only player to do so the last three years. He should be pretty motivated tonight.

Alas, Cano is one of the biggest long shots, according to Bovada:

Davis: 11/4
Fielder: 3/1
Harper: 5/1
Alvarez: 6/1
Cespedes: 6/1
Cano: 13/2
Wright: 10/1
Cuddyer: 14/1

One other thing that should be noted here: since Citi Field altered the fences prior to 2012, it’s been a better home run park for right-handed hitters than left-handers. Before that, the opposite was true.

For that reason, I think Cespedes is the real sleeper pick tonight, though it wouldn’t surprise if expends a little too much energy in round one and doesn’t have enough left for the subsequent rounds. The last time a round one leader went on to win the Derby was Fielder in 2009.

But Fielder should be considered the favorite based on experience. My guess is that Davis disappoints. The Home Run Derby is typically about pulling the ball, and Davis hits his homers all over the place. As for Harper, while I think he’ll win one or two eventually, I doubt it’s his time just yet.

  1. 13arod - Jul 15, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Davis or harper is goong to win he has no chance

    • ilovekneegrows - Jul 15, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      What?

  2. kopy - Jul 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Am I wrong or does 10/1 seem like a good bargain for David Wright?

    Cano winning in 2011 and hitting 0 homers last year should illustrate how random this thing can be.

  3. bengalguy - Jul 15, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    CESPEDES!!!!!! BANG THE DRUMS!!!!!

  4. steelers88 - Jul 15, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    I’m very excited to see Pedro Alvarez hit! He crushes baseballs in regular games but now his going to see pitches he actually wants to hit.

  5. dsimp724 - Jul 15, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Can’t wait to hear Herman taking a dump again. Back back back back back it out, where’s the toiletpaper

  6. dsimp724 - Jul 15, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Berman not herman

  7. ravenunitas - Jul 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    My guess is that Davis disappoints. The Home Run Derby is typically about pulling the ball, and Davis hits his homers all over the place.
    ============================================================================
    That’s the whole point genius…or Matthew.
    Chris Davis doesn’t need to pull the ball to homer to any field. Have you even seen any Orioles games??
    The man hits one handed homers to any field. I’ve never seen anyone as strong as this man. You will see.

  8. pitpenguinsrulez - Jul 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    PEDRO!!! Lets Go Bucs!!!!!!

  9. rmfields - Jul 15, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    They let the fans vote for the all-stars, why not the home run derby? I would have loved to have seen Domonic Brown in there.

  10. gopackgo5212 - Jul 15, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Who cares? Prince is a money whore. The brewers, the team who drafted and developed him, the team that he called home for years, offered him a lot of money but it wasnt enough. Go Pedro.

  11. downwithespn - Jul 15, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Davis is actually on pace for 62 HR. 62.4, to be precise.

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