MLB Sports Uncategorized

2016 Home Run Derby Preview


Earlier today the participants for the 2016 MLB Home Run Derby were announced. The derby will take place Monday night in San Diego starting at 8 PM ET, airing on ESPN. Participants are highlighted by last year’s winner Todd Frazier, and 2011 champ Robinson Cano. Six of the eight participants will also be representing their teams in the All-Star game Tuesday night, the exceptions being Frazier and Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. The players are bracketed based on home runs entering play Wednesday night.

The new rules that were put into place last season are still in effect this year.

The new rules are as follows

  • Sluggers will have four minutes each round to hit as many long balls as possible.
  • In the first round and semifinals, each batter is entitled to one 45-second “time out.”
  • In the finals, each batter is entitled to two 45-second “time-outs.”
  • Thirty seconds of bonus time will be awarded for two home runs that each equal or exceed 440 feet.
  • Ties in any round will be broken by a 60-second swing-off with no stoppage of time or additional time added.
  • If a tie remains after the swing-off, batters will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner.

A brief look into each player

Mark Trumbo, Orioles

2015 HR TOTAL, 22

2016 HR, 26

CAREER HR, 157

Trumbo has re-found his stroke with the Orioles in 2016. During his prime with the Angels Trumbo averaged almost 32 HRs a season before being traded to Arizona. After struggling with Arizona and Seattle over the past two seasons, Trumbo has been nothing short of spectacular. In a power hitting lineup Trumbo has put himself in elite company as he currently leads the MLB with 26 homers. Seattle traded Trumbo to the O’s back in early December and Trumbo has flourished in the hitter friendly Camden Yards. He could very well be the comeback player of the year in the AL.

Todd Frazier

2015 HR TOTAL, 35

2016 HR, 23

CAREER HR, 131

Frazier was one of the best players in baseball in the first half of last season hitting over 25 of his 35 homers before the All-Star break. He would go on to win last year’s derby in his home stadium in Cincinnati, becoming the first player to win the derby in the stadium where he plays his home games. After playing like an MVP the first half of last year, Frazier struggled mightily after the All-Star break. This year he has regained his power stroke but is hitting just above .200. Frazier is one of those players who can put the team on his back for a month at a time but has problems putting together consistent 6 month seasons. He could very well repeat as derby champ this year. 

Adam Duvall

2015 HR TOTAL, 5

2016 HR, 22

CAREER HR, 30

Duvall is easily the least known player participating in this derby. He entered the year with only 8 career homers but has had an exceptional first half. Although his OBP is below .300, Duvall has been the lone bright spot for the Reds this year. Many speculate that his performance so far has been a fluke and they may be right but he is certainly making the most of it.

Robinson Cano

2015 HR TOTAL, 21

2016 HR, 20

CAREER HR, 259

When Robinson Cano left the Yankees after the 2013 season everyone was concerned about his power moving from Yankee Stadium to the spacious Safeco Field. He already has 20 homers this year and is on pace to shatter his previous career high of 33, which he set as a Yankee in 2012. One of three lefties in the derby Cano may very well have the sweetest left-handed swing in all of baseball. His seven All-Star appearances are the most among derby participants this year and fans can expect him to put up a performance similar to the one he did when he won the event in 2011.

Giancarlo Stanton

2015 HR TOTAL, 27

2016 HR, 19

CAREER HR, 200

When the big man is hungry, you feed him. Which is exactly going to happen to whoever is pitching to Stanton in this year’s derby. Often regarded as the most powerful hitter in baseball, Stanton has had his career thrown askew by injuries which have hurt his season totals. He put on a display in the 2014 derby before being injured at the end of the season and then again last year. After getting off to a slow start this year Stanton has really picked it up the last couple weeks and is on pace to potentially have his first 40 homer season. With Stanton it’s not a matter of production, its staying on the field. Expect him to hit the longest homer of the derby.

Wil Myers

2015 HR TOTAL, 8

2016 HR, 19

CAREER HR, 46

Ah the prodigal son has finally returned. Baseball fans everywhere expected the world out of Wil Myers when he won the AL ROY back in 2013 with the Rays. He hit 13 homers in only 88 games and had the potential to develop into a fine outfielder. However none of that happened. Myers is now the primary first baseman for the Padres and after two sub-par years has finally found his way at the plate.

Myers is on pace to easily set career highs in every significant offensive category. 2016 will be Myers first All-Star appearance and first time participating in the derby. As the only Padre in the event, the hometown team will expect their star to put on a show similar to that of Frazier in Cincinnati last year.

Carlos Gonzales  

2015 HR TOTAL, 40

2016 HR, 18

CAREER HR, 194

One of the most underrated players in the NL, Cargo smashed his way to the 40 homer club last year and could potentially do it again in 2016. He was one of only 3 NL players to hit 40 or more homers last year and is worthy of being in the derby. Many fans doubt Cargo’s ability as a hitter because he plays in Coors Field where the ball travels a little better because of the altitude. However, AL East stadiums are hardly larger than most high school fields (Yankee Stadium), and we don’t hold that against those players. Cargo can flat out rake and it’s time the fans stopped blaming him for where he plays and just focus on the numbers he is putting up.

Corey Seager

2015 HR TOTAL, 4

2016 HR, 17

CAREER HR, 21

Seager is the youngest and least experienced player in the derby this year but that by no means makes him an underdog. He only played in 27 games last year.  Now in his first full season, the 22-year-old is the best shortstop in the NL, and maybe the MLB. Seager is in line to potentially win the NL ROY this year and has been carrying the Dodger offense this season. He may be young but the kid can hit and although he isn’t the favorite to win the event, fans shouldn’t count him out too soon. It’s baseball, anything can happen.

Projected Winner

Giancarlo Stanton over Todd Frazier

 


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]