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Tonight the MLB will have its annual Home Run Derby. Eight participants will go up against batting practice caliber pitching trying to send as many baseballs as high into the Miami skyline as possible.
The participants will include Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins, Mike Moustakas from the Kansas City Royals, Cody Bellinger of the L.A. Dodgers, and Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies. Two teams will send a pair of players the derby. The New York Yankees will send young phenoms Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge while the host Miami Marlins will send out Justin Bour and defending champion Giancarlo Stanton.
We could keep it right there with Stanton. Who could forget last year’s performance in San Diego when he sent a staggering 61 homers over the fence over three rounds (31 went for 440 feet for or longer)? Moonshot after moonshot screaming out of Petco Park, Stanton dazzled the crowd the night before the All-Star game. While the hometown Miami faithful would definitely like to see the title stay right there, most of the country wants to see a matchup between him and rookie Aaron Judge.
Judge is the type of homerun hitter folk tales are made of. Judge leads all major league hitters with 30 homers. In doing so, he’s already surpassed Joe DiMaggio’s Yankees rookie HR record (29). There are tales of batting practice balls that sail effortlessly out the park and smash video cameras high above the stadium. Line drive screamers that get stuck in bullpen walls, yes Judge has made the longball great again.
Those are definitely the favorites but any one of the other six guys can wreck those plans. One things for sure, we will see balls hit with wreckless abandonment. Balls will be hit so hard that we might start to feel sorry for an inanimate object. Its the annual Home Run Derby! As the great Terrell Owens once said, “Get your popcorn ready” it should be a good one.