Kauffman Clubbers-Who will win the 2012 Homerun Derby?
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By Richard Janvrin-TRST Senior MLB Analyst Follow Richard on Twitter @RJanvrin3
Tonight, at 8 PM EST, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City will hold one of the most exciting events in all of baseball. The Home Run Derby. Over the years we’ve see Josh Hamilton, who holds the record for the most home runs in a round with 28, we’ve seen Bobby Abreu in 2005 where he hit 41 throughout the entire event. What will we see this year?
The Home Run Derby squads are ran by New York Yankees second baseman, Robinson Cano and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the AL and NL, respectively.
Here are the players on each team:
Team Cano: Robinson Cano, Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder, Jose Bautista
Team Kemp: Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen (replacing Giancarlo Stanton (knee surgery)], Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez
Robinson Cano was last years winner.
But which player has the best shot?
Robinson Cano – As I stated above, he won last years contest. He has 20 HR this year and the most he’s hit in a season is 29 which he will surely surpass. He seems to be on pace for nearly 40 HR after being silent the first month of the season. If I did the math correctly, he averages a HR/16.6 AB. Not bad. He holds an ISO, which is a measure of a hitters raw power, of .265 in which anything over.250 is excellent. Robinson Cano has a bonafide shot to repeat. Not to mention, his dad is pitching to him like he did last year.
Mark Trumbo – Before the season, it was speculated that Trumbo would only be a part time player with the signing of Pujols and Kendrys Morales coming back. Who knew he’d lead the team in home runs? He has 22 this year is 77 games and averages a home run every 13.09 AB. That’s insane. The man has an ISO of .302, which is completely crazy and is considered by most, and I think Matt Kemp would agree, “beast mode.” Trumbo is my personal favorite to win.
Prince Fielder – Not trying to offend Mr. Fielder, but this is a big, big dude. He has struggled from a power standpoint this season only having 15 HR and an ISO of .206. This could be a transition from the NL to AL slump which hopefully he snaps out of. Fielder has a chance for sure.
Jose Bautista – Tied for the Major League lead in home runs at 27 with Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista fell flat on his face last year at the derby. Believe it was 4 he hit last season? Not good. Maybe a bit nervous considering everyone and their brother chose him to win considering his in-season power numbers? He has a nice ISO of .295, which is very good. Maybe this year will be different?
Matt Kemp – This should be interesting. After being out what feels like the entire season, Matt Kemp has been battling a hamstring injury, will sit out the All-Star game, but will “give it a go” for the Home Run Derby. Personally, that’s probably not a good idea. I know he won’t be running, but he still has to put almost every ounce of power he has in every swing. He has the least amount of home runs amongst the contestants with 12, but he’s also played the least amount of game. When healthy, Kemp is probably the favorite. Not when partially hurt, though.
Carlos Gonzalez – This guy is fun to watch. He has 17 HRs and an ISO at .248 which is a little below excellent. But unfortunately, I don’t believe he’ll make it out of round one. It will be fun to see how many home runs he manages. I could be wrong, but we’ll see!
Andrew McCutchen – Replacing who was probably the favorite to win the entire thing and then some, Giancarlo Stanton, McCutchen is no slouch either. He has 18 on the season, 3 multi-HR games and an ISO of .262. McCutchen is really a big guy, but he has an outside shot. One of the better replacements Kemp could’ve chosen for Stanton, although I’m sure everyone, despite his numbers, would love to see Bryce Harper.
Carlos Beltran – This selection is awesome. This is a homecoming for Beltran as he began his career in KC. He’s having the best power season of his career since 2006 in which he 41 HR. He has 20 this season. His ISO of .246 is his best since 2007. I’d love to see him win just for the fact that it’s a homecoming and it would be very nice for him to win considering he is the oldest participant at 35 years old.
In conclusion, I’m sticking with my guy Trumbo to win. In my opinion, the final round will be Mark Trumbo vs. Robinson Cano and the AL will reign supreme for this Home Run Derby for the third year in a row.
Good luck, guys.
Here is Tim Kelly, site owner and TRST founder’s predictions. Follow Tim on Twitter @KashKelly_TRST