I know the headline can be a little misleading on my feelings for the Home Run Derby. I absolutely love watching
the game’s best power hitters whoever is willing to participate in the Midsummer Classic’s Three Hours of Power. I know a lot of studies have been completed that prove the Home Run Derby doesn’t ruin a player’s second-half, but I go by the eye test and what my dumb brain remembers, and it seems like just yesterday that Bobby Abreu broke the Home Run Derby record by hitting 24 home runs, then only hitting 6 home runs in the second half of the season. After besting Bobby Abreu in 2008, Josh Hamilton never competed in a derby again, citing his long-term health as a player taking precedence over some extra hardware he could’ve accumulated derby after derby. As a guy who always made his health a priority, you can understand where Hamilton was coming from.
It’s somewhat disappointing that we have
Mike Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge crushing the ball in New York but neither are going to ruin their swing in Washington, D.C., making me wonder how many strikeouts they’d rack up the rest of the season if they went head to head in the finals. If it can’t be two Yankees, at least it’ll be two Cubs that have a chance to ruin their individual seasons as well as their team’s chances of holding off the red-hot Redlegs down the stretch.
If Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez meet in the Home Run Derby finals, we could have a prefect scenario for any Cub-hating NL Central fans. Javy has the ability to be the first player to ever strike out in the Derby, while Schwarber has a body built to hit 30-bombs in a single round. I don’t think we’re that lucky though. While I’d love to see Baez embarrass himself by swinging from his heels as the catcher’s mitt pops in the final round, I don’t think he’ll make it that far.
Will Bryce Harper woo the hometown crowd and win the trophy in front of Nationals fans before leaving for Chicago or New York? He’s no Todd Frazier so I’m not counting on it. It’s hard to hit home runs when you’re trying to keep your hair in place. Bryce lives for these moments when he’s not required to wear a hat or helmet. I can’t really blame him. If I could grow hair, I’d probably show it off every chance I had too.
I’m predicting a final between two people who don’t really move the needle. It just seems fitting for a year where the Home Run Derby lacks star power and the wow factor.
Jesus Aguilar def. Rhys Hoskins and his stupid double c-flap helmet.
Alex Bregman def. Kyle Schwarber
Bryce Harper def. Freddie Freeman
Max Muncy def. Javier Baez (bonus prediction: Baez pulls a muscle trying to hit a ball 700ft and has to withdraw)
Alex Bregman def. Jesus Aguilar
Max Muncy def. Bryce Harper
Max Muncy def. Alex Bregman
Congratulations, Max Muncy. Most of the world has never heard of you, but you’re the lucky winner of a second-half season in which you’ll only hit 5 HRs. It’s not pretty, but someone has to do it.Follow @BennyMacBlog