Originally posted on Baseball News Source  |  Last updated 7/15/13
Despite not earning a selection on the American League All-Star roster, Oakland Athletics slugger Yoenis Cespedes stole the show in Monday night’s Home Run Derby at Citi Field, highlighted by an electrifying first round performance that saw the young slugger launch 17 home runs. Robinson Cano and Prince Fielder, the past two derby winners, were unable to slug their way out of the first round on Monday night. Cano brought up the rear of the field with four homers, the longest of which carried 406 feet to right center. Fielder slugged five of his own, which included a pair of 400-plus foot (his longest measuring 483 feet) shots, wherein he ended up finishing tied for fifth with David Wright, who also failed to make it out of the first round in front of his home crowd at Citi Field. Pedro Alvarez, second in the National League with 24 home runs this season, slugged six of his own in the first round, but was unable to advance along with Cano, Fielder, and Wright. As was expected, Alvarez was able to launch some moon-shots, which included a pair of 456 and 461-foot shots to right field. Baltimore’s Chris Davis, who came in with a major league leading and AL record-tying 37 home runs before the All-Star break, slugged eight homers in the first round, but was only able to muster up four in the second, finishing with 12 total home runs and falling short of the final round. Impressive was the fact that nine of his 12 homers traveled over 400 feet, highlighted by a 461-foot shot to deep right center in the second round. Michael Cuddyer shined in his derby debut, slugging seven homers in the first round and adding eight more in the second. Despite a strong performance by Cuddyer, he would ultimately be overcome by Bryce Harper, who slugged eight in the second round to out-slug Cuddyer by one to advance to the finals. Washington Nationals phenom Harper put on a show for the New York crowd, launching eight homers in each of the three rounds, finishing with a total of 24 home runs, 17 of which traveled over 400 feet in distance (highlighted by a 471-foot bomb to deep right center in the third round). Despite the strong effort by Harper, Cespedes would prove to be too much on Monday night. Cespedes entered the final round with 23 homers and quickly made work in chasing Harper’s mark of eight homers. With five outs to his name and tied with Harper at eight, Cespedes launched a 455-foot shot over the “Apple” in deep center for his ninth of the round and the derby victory. In all, Cespedes slugged 32 total home runs, tied for the third most home runs in a single derby (along with David Ortiz and Robinson Cano). With the victory, Cespedes helped the American League garner their fourth straight Home Run Derby title, dating back to Ortiz’s victory at Anaheim in 2010.
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