2013 National League Home Run Derby Participants
David Wright is the 2013 National League All-Star Game starting third baseman and NL Home Run Derby captain, who picked the remaining participants for the NL squad.
The New York Mets slugger will know better than anyone where the Citi Field power alleys are, but let’s be honest, he won’t have too much of an advantage because despite the pulled-in walls, Citi Field is still a relatively large park.
Home Run Derby experience: 2006, finished runner up to Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard All-Star Weekend at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Career Long Balls: 217 in 10th MLB season (13 so far in 2013)
Bryce Harper – Kid is still just 20!
The Washington Nationals outfielder, and last season’s NL Rookie of the Year, is already making his second ALL-Star team. And, while some don’t appreciate the attitude….or, persona…or, cockiness that he may carry around, his flare might bring some much needed excitement to what has become an annual 3.5+ hours of Chris Bermann’s call of ”back-back-back-back-back-back-back-back-Gone!”
Hey, maybe he can change the call to ‘quack-quack-quack..’ and we’ll get the Duck Dynasty crew in the stadium to try and shoot the balls down before the make it over the fence. Now that would be fun to watch!
Derby experience: none
Career Long Balls: 35 in second MLB season (13 so far in 2013)
Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez may be one of those who benefits from the thin Colorado air. Or, this kid is just really good.
Gonzalez was seemingly the no-brainer pick for the captain, Wright, right? He’s leading the NL with 24 homers approaching the break and has smashed 106 dingers in the last 3 1/2 seasons.
But, keep in mind, he was a dud in the 2012 derby.
Derby experience: Hit just 4 HR’s in last year’s HR Derby in Kansas City, earning him a first round exit.
Career Long Balls: 123 in his sixth MLB season (24 so far in 2013)
And, rounding out the NL HR Derby Squad is…wait it’s…really?
It’s, Michael Cuddyer?
Not knocking the guy. He’s been a decent MLB ball player for most of his career, which now spans 13 seasons. He did have a career high of 32 round-trippers in 2009, but he’s just not a guy I think of as homer run hitter, or a powerful, put-on-a-show type of guy.
To be fair, Wright’s career best HR output is only one higher at 33, and Gonzelz has a high water mark of 34 – which he’ll likely surpass this season. And, Cuddyer’s 15 HR’s this season are more than both Wright and Harper.
So, okay, whatever.
Derby experience: none
Career Long Balls: 172 in 13th MLB season (15 so far in 2013)
*It is worth noting that there is not an exact recipe for determining the annual HR Derby contestants. This is an exhibition and the contestants are not necessarily the top four or five sluggers in each league. I believe the participants need to be ‘All-Stars’ and then ceremonial captains select from their respective league’s All-Star roster. Also, it’s my understanding that guys can decline the invite. Which is why Cano is/was awaiting confirmation on his final pick. In other words, Wright and Cano are the captains because the game is in New York this year, and Cuddyer is an All-Star who is having a good season. Thought it was worth noting for those not familiar with MLB’s oft-changing HR Derby guidelines.