By: Ross Sutton
So the field for this year’s Home Run Derby is set, and all things considered, I think it’s a pretty damn good field. The two biggest names in the field are Bryce Harper, who will be hitting bombs in front of his home crowd, and Freddie Freeman. The rest of the field includes Alex Bregman (HOU), Rhys Hoskins (PHI), Kyle Schwarber (CHI), Javier Baez (CHI), Max Muncy (LAD), and Jesus Aguilar (MIL). Although Muncy and Aguilar aren’t exactly household names, they each have more than 20 home runs so far this year and the rest of the field has a lot of power in their own right, so I don’t think fans will be disappointed after the Derby on Monday night. In case you don’t believe me, here are the amount of home runs each player in the field has this season as of the morning of July 13th:
Considering three players in the field have hit 20+ home runs to this point in the season, I’d say this is a strong field. A lot of people like to complain that the best players in the league like Trout or others never participating in the Derby, but that’s never going to happen and we probably got spoiled last year with Judge, Stanton, Sanchez, and Bellinger all in the field. I really don’t think it’s a big deal if most of the top players in the league don’t want to be in the Home Run Derby, plus I’d rather watch the players that actually want to show off their tremendous power anyway. Not only that, but I think the Derby gives some players that would not be seen otherwise, a chance to draw some well-deserved attention to themselves during a truly fun night for baseball fans.
Now for any serious bettors out there, I think Schwarber is going to win the Derby this year. Most people will probably be rooting for Bryce Harper to win it in front of the home fans, but Schwarber has a really easy swing that generates a ton of power. Players like Baez and Bregman use a lot of energy in their swings so I don’t believe they will be able to keep up throughout the night. Nationals Park probably favors righties a little bit due to the high wall in right-center, but down the right field line is a good target for the lefties to try and hit a bunch of balls over the wall. With a pretty powerful field, I think this year’s Derby will be a lot of fun to watch so I can’t wait for Monday night.
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