Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 11/18/14
He wasn’t officially named baseball’s best slugger, but Bryce Harper made the Washington Nationals proud in his first Home Run Derby appearance, finishing second to Yoenis Cespedes. Harper hit eight home runs in all three rounds, finishing just one shy of Cespedes' nine in the final round. Cespedes clinched his victory with five outs to spare as his ninth home run sailed over the center-field wall. The second father-son team of the night -- Bryce and father Ron Harper -- surprised their audience as Ron threw his son cutters instead of the classic fastballs associated with home run hitting. Even though it appeared Ron was doing his best impression of a major league hurler trying to pitch around Bryce (he even hit him once, leading to laughs all around), Bryce said those were the pitches he grew up seeing from his father, so he decided to rely on comfort rather than convention as his ticket to success. With his National League partners coming up short in the early rounds, Harper was able to represent his league in the finals. NL-captain David Wright and Pedro Alvarez were the first to exit, hitting only five and six home runs, respectively, in the first round. Harper and Michael Cuddyer represented the NL in the second round, but Cuddyer’s seven home runs fell short of Harper’s eight, which qualified him for the final. For the American League, Prince Fielder failed to become the second player to win the Derby three times, hitting only five home runs in the first round. AL-captain Robinson Cano was also unable to make it past the first round with four homers. Cespedes awed the crowd with his first-round performance, when he hit 17 home runs, which was more than the second place first-round finishers hit combined (Chris Davis 8, Harper 8). However, Harper, the second-youngest player to ever participate in the Derby (behind Ken Griffey, Jr.), was not without his own awe-inspiring moments. Though he didn't hit the majestic moon shots Fielder did, Harper was credited by multiple sources with hitting the most missile-like homers, as his shots left the park in a hurry.   At only 20 years old, Harper has many years of potential Derbies ahead of him. Finishing second in his first one is him just getting warmed up.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.