Now that the World Cup is over, and all of the NBA’s biggest free agents have chosen their destination, all eyes can be focused on the MLB All Star Break. As always, the break will be kicked off tonight with Home Run Derby, and this year there is a whole new format. First of all, each league will have five players instead of four, and secondly, the MLB is introducing a bracket format, that will ensure the final will have one player from each league. The derby will have four rounds this year. The players will only get seven outs in each round, as opposed to the usual 10. Here is a quick breakdown of how the new format will work.
First Round- All five players in each league will compete against each other, and the top three hitters from each side will move on, with the top hitter getting a bye, advancing to the third round.
Second Round- The second and third home run leaders will compete against each other to try to move on to face the top hitter. Home Runs are not cumilative this time meaning there will be a clean slate in each round.
Third Round- The final two hitters in each league compete against each other, winner moves on to the finals.
Fourth Round- Final Round, the top hitters from each league match against each other, and the player with the most home runs wins the derby.
The new format is an attempt to make the derby move faster by only having seven outs, and increase the drama by having more head to head matchups.
Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Bautista were both named the captains of their respective leagues, which is interesting because this means they got to pick the people they will be competing against until the last round. Tulo pick OF Giancarlo Stanton, 3B Todd Frazier, OF Yasiel Puig, and 1B Justin Morneau. Bautista picked reigning champion OF Yoenis Cespedes, 3B Josh Donaldson, OF Adam Jones, and hometown pick 2B Brian Dozier. Without further ado, here is my predictions of how the derby will go
Jose Bautista- Bautista makes a strong showing as captain, and belts a healthy nine homers, all to left field, in the first round, which is good enough for him to advance to the second round.
Yoenis Cespedes- Cespedes picks up right where he left off in last years derby and belts 12 home runs, topping all other players in the AL and giving him the direct bye to the third round.
Josh Donaldson- He doesn’t have quite as much success as his Athletics teammate Cespedes does in this round, but he does manage to hit seven home runs, which just pushes him into the second round.
Adam Jones- Jones is the unfortunate soul who swings and misses a few times during the derby, and fails to advance only getting to 4 home runs.
Brian Dozier- Dozier will definitely have the support of the crowd seeing that he is from the home team Twins. While he is having an impressive season, he is just not the type of player the usually has success at the derby. The home support will help him get to six home runs, but he will not advance.
Result- Cespedes advances to third round, Bautista and Donaldson advance to second round. Jones and Dozier eliminated.
Troy Tulowitzki- Captain Tulo is certainly an impressive hitter, leading all middle infielders in homeruns this season. He will hit 9 home runs, and advance to the second round.
Giancarlo Stanton- The player formerly known as Mike Stanton is everyone’s pick to win the derby, and for good reason. He has massive power, having the longest avg home run distance. He matches Cespedes’ 12 home runs, and earns the bye to the third round.
Todd Frazier- Frazier has a real chance to become a fan favorite here. He is already beloved by Reds fans due to his fun personality and talent, and showing both on the national stage can excel him to fame. Frazier puts on a show for fans hitting 10 home runs in the first round, and advances to second round.
Yasiel Puig- A fan favorite coming in, the one thing that can be said for Puig is that he will be entertaining to watch. It is going to take a while to get his 7 outs if he will flip the bat as much as he usually does after home runs. He will get to 8 homeruns, which won’t be enough, but to no fault of Puig’s talent.
Justin Morneau- A former champion, he beat Hamilton the year Hamilton broke the record for most homeruns in a derby at Old Yankees Stadium, Morneau won’t get a chance to win again. He may be making a home coming back in Minnesota, but there is a reason he left as he had a hard time getting the ball to get out of Target Field. Morneau is the low home run hitter of the day, only getting four.
Result- Stanton advances to third round, Frazier and Tulo advance to second, Puig and Morneau eliminated.
Bautista vs. Donaldson
Donaldson has a hard time keeping up with MVP candidate Bautista. Donaldson fails to matches Bautista’s eight homers in this round, putting up only six to match.
Frazier vs Tulo
Frazier continues to put on a show for fan, and seals his place in the nation’s heart by putting up another 10 home runs, and most likely dedicating it to his friend and Reds bat boy Teddy Kramer. Tulo puts on a show of his own, but falls short only hitting nine home runs to Frazier’s 10.
Result- Frazier and Bautista advance to third round, Donaldson and Tulo are eliminated.
Cespedes vs Bautista
All rested up after getting to sit during the last round. Cespedes comes out and puts up 11 homeruns, to beat Bautistas nine home runs. Cespedes advances to the finals and gets his chance to keep his crown.
Stanton vs Frazier
It has been a great show for Frazier, but he runs into the inhuman Stanton, who blasts 10 no doubters into the stands, which will top Fraziers 8 home runs in the round. Stanton moves on to take on Cespedes in the finals.
Result- Cespedes and Stanton move on and take each other on in the finals. Frazier and Bautista eliminated.
Stanton vs Cespedes
Cespedes puts up a hefty 11 home runs, which isn’t enough to top everyone’s pick to win it, as Stanton puts up 12 of his own. Stanton may not lead the league in homeruns, but he does have the most power of anyone in the majors. Stanton takes the crown, and it will probably be the first of many unless he decides to stop competing.