Every year it is a tradition before the Major League Baseball All-Star Game to have one of the coolest competitions in sports, the Home Run Derby. Being held in Washington, D.C. this year, this will field a hometown hero and a lot young up-and-coming studs in this competition. The Home Run Derby is held like a tournament as players are seeded based on the amount of home runs they have hit this season. Let’s look at contestants:
Jesus Aguilar-Milwaukee Brewers
Aguilar has been having a breakout season as he was only expected to serve as a backup for the Brewers. He has 24 home runs this season and will face off against Rhys Hoskins from Philadelphia as Aguilar has the most home runs for this competition.
Bryce Harper-Washington Nationals
The 2015 National League Most Valuable Player will finally be making an appearance at a Home Run Derby, but he will be doing so in front of his team’s fans. Despite a disappointing season, Harper is still hitting home runs as he has 23 this season and will face off against Freddie Freeman from the Nationals’ division rival Atlanta Braves.
Max Muncy-Los Angeles Dodgers
Another player having a breakout season, Muncy has been the talk all year as he has hit 22 home runs in under 300 at bats thus far this season. At the age of 27, Muncy was a late bloomer, but has has shown his power as he hits mammoth home runs. He will face off against Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs.
Alex Bregman-Houston Astros
One of the most unlikely competitors in this Home Run Derby, Bregman is having a breakout year in a very young career thus far. With his 20 home runs, expect him to change his approach depending on where the ball is thrown to him as he has hit 17 of his 20 home runs in the middle or top of the strike zone.
Kyle Schwarber-Chicago Cubs
Has been known for his majestic home runs, Schwarber enters competition to take on Bregman as Schwarber has hit 18 home runs so far this season. He could be a dark horse in this Derby merely based off his seeding. He is one of two Cubs in this tournament.
Javier Baez-Chicago Cubs
While he might not be a prolific home run hitter, he has some serious power and when he connects, he can hit it a mile. With 19 home runs hit, he should be a formidable competitor for Muncy.
Freddie Freeman-Atlanta Braves
Having a great season at the plate, it was a little interesting to see him enter the Derby. It might be because he has played at Nationals Park so much that he is comfortable hitting there, but he does have a lot of power. With his 16 home runs, he might even unseat Harper at Harper’s home park.
Rhys Hoskins-Philadelphia Phillies
Hoskins was called up late last year, but when he was in the Majors, he made a major impact crushing home runs left and right hitting 18 home runs in 50 games. He has 14 home runs thus far this season, but this guy can truly crush the ball as some have viewed him as the favorite to win this Derby. While Aguilar has been hot, Hoskins has been known to have more power. Plus having to play in D.C. as much as he does, he might be comfortable hitting home runs there in this tournament.
James Rowe: Hoskins, Harper, Schwarber, Muncy advance to the semi-finals. Schwarber and Harper advance to final. Harper wins the derby in front of his hometown