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Your 2014 Home Run Derby Preview

Jul 14, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

giancarlo stanton getty Getty Images

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Yes, I poo-pooed the Home Run Derby earlier today, but it’s still a thing that’s happening so it’s not like we’re going to ignore it. Indeed, let’s break this thing down. At least to some degree.

The captains, Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Bautista have picked their teams, and they break down like this:

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Troy Tulowitzki
Giancarlo Stanton
Yasiel Puig
Todd Frazier
Justin Morneau

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Jose Bautista
Josh Donaldson
Adam Jones
Brian Dozier
Yoenis Cespedes

Some big names with big power there. I tend to like the NL Field better, as it has the guy with the most raw power in all of baseball in Giancarlo Stanton, a highly-underrated power guy in Todd Frazier — he has hit several 450-foot+ homers this year — and a former Derby champ in Justin Morneau. Not that the AL field is bad. Cespedes won it last year and no one can doubt Bautista’s power. I just think the NL has to have the edge here.

The format may be the biggest star, however. It’s different this year, designed to keep guys fresher longer. Which has been a problem in the past, as performers who light it up early often run out of gas in the later rounds (think Josh Hamilton in 2008). This year players will be limited to seven outs, instead of 10. Also, the two guys who lead their league in first-round homers will get a second round bye and head straight to the semi-finals, thus rewarding the quick starters with a nice break.

Six players will advance out of the first round (the two league leaders and the four guys at large) and two will advance out of the second round to face the two bye-recipients in the semis. The two finals participants will get seven outs apiece, and, if it comes down to a tiebreaker, they’ll get three swings apiece.

Here is how Vegas breaks it down:

Giancarlo Stanton: 2/1
Yoenis Cespedes: 5/1
Jose Bautista: 5/1
Yasiel Puig: 6/1
Troy Tulowitzki: 13/2
Josh Donaldson: 10/1
Adam Jones: 12/1
Brian Dozier: 12/1
Todd Frazier: 12/1
Justin Morneau: 15/1

Like I said last week, I think Todd Frazier and Justin Morneau are being slept on somewhat. Maybe Brian Dozier too. But, as always, we have no real clue until they start to grip it and rip it tonight.

  1. davidpom50 - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Is there a Vegas Over/Under on Puig bat flips?

    • baberuthslegs - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      I was thinking about this also. Puig flips the bat when he homers, or hits one to the warning track. He might be flipping the bat a lot this evening.

  2. ripwarrior - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    I put some coin on puig to win it. Only way to keep it interesting is to have action on it.

    • kycardsfan - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      I put some on Tulo. Liked him at 8/1.

  3. bronco58lb - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    I miss the HR Derby format from 1986-95. You get 10 outs, most HR wins. It was simple. Now MLB and ESPN want to drag it out into a three-hour TV event to maximize advertising revenue.

  4. shawnuel - Jul 14, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    I think the AL should be allowed to bring up Gallo for the derby. For no other reason than it would entertain the hell out of everyone.

    • chrisernst82 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      That and Bryant from the NL would be pretty cool.

  5. phillysports1 - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    Bautista over Stanton in the final round. Write it down

  6. scrot7 - Jul 14, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    The safe money is on Oil Can Boyd

  7. greymares - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    ” back,back,back,back” that’s how far away from my TV I’ll be.

    • raynman49 - Jul 14, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Yeah, it’s bad enough, but Berman makes it unwatchable.

      • nbjays - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        Put on some good music, and turn down the volume on the TV.

  8. bmadormo - Jul 14, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    What about inviting the minor league HR DERBY champ to compete in this tourney. Could be fun

    • shawnuel - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:05 AM

      I think they only do one level…..AAA. Allan Dykstra won this year. Would rather see Gallo or Bryant…….maybe Baez.

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