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MLB Home Run Derby Participants: 7 Players We Want To See Join Shohei Ohtani In The 2021 Pitch


The MLB Home Run Derby is always an exciting sight.

Watch the best powerful hitters in the game hit it, throwing baseballs as far as they can go in a short period of time. This year will be particularly exciting as the event will take place on the launch pad at Coors Field.

One attendee is already confirmed for the event with angels phenomenon Shohei Ohtani announcing that he will attend. Young Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reportedly chose not to show off his power surge, just as Cubs shortstop Javier Baez.

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So now the question that remains is who will join Ohtani? We’re doing our best to find some of the players who would add to the thrill of the show. With just eight places total and one filled, we’re looking at seven other players who could help round out the field.

Ronald Acuna Jr.

One of the juniors has already opted out of the Home Run Derby, but fans will want to see as many of them as possible at the event, and Acuna Jr. would be a go-to performer. Acuna only trails Fernando Tatis Jr. in the NL on the homers as he sits at 20 and 10 of them have no doubts, according to Baseball Savant. One of them traveled 481 feet, the second longest stroke this season.

It’s more than the home runs he’s hit this season. His profile looks like someone who would put on a derby show. Its top exit speed of 117.2 mph puts it fifth this season, the 93.8 average outing bike is seventh best, and its 11.9% barrel per plate appearance is fifth in the big leagues. Acuna hits the ball as hard as anyone in the majors and with the level of excitement he brings to the game, he would be a perfect fit for the Home Run Derby.

Pete Alonso

Alonso didn’t swing with the same power stroke he had in his dynamic rookie season where he pitched 53 home runs, but he is the defending Home Run Derby champion, having beaten Guerrero on the final lap of the season. 2019. As the defending champion, he should have the chance to reclaim his title with another place in the 2021 field.

The Mets first baseman may be only 11 home runs away, but he stings the ball every time he hits it. His average exit speed is 92.6 – tied for 19th in majors – and his maximum exit speed of 117.1 is sixth, according to Baseball Savant. Of its 11 circuits, nine have been undisputed. The polar bear has as much power as anyone in the big leagues, and even with the lowest numbers he should have a shot at being a back-to-back champion.

Rafael Devers

Devers often goes under the radar with the young wave of talent rising, but the 24-year-old Red Sox third baseman is enjoying another big campaign in Boston. Devers had a stellar season in 2019, struggled at the start of the shortened 2020 season, and now in 2021 he’s back to mash up the baseballs. He’s already thrown 18 bombs and, according to Baseball Savant, has an expected home run total of 20.6, behind only Ohtani and Royals wide receiver Salvador Perez.

And his statcast profile this season has been absurd. It is in the 92nd percentile or above average exit speed, maximum exit speed, hard hit rate, xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, and barrel rate. He’s tied with Ohtani and Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez for 13th on average homerun distance at 417 feet, his longest homerun of the year covering 452 feet.

Yermin Mercedes

Mercedes has been one of the biggest stories of the year as a player who has never been highly regarded as a prospect of a powerful run producer in the midst of a playoff contender. And while his seven home runs were the fewest on this list, they were the biggest bombs. He throws home runs at an average of 439 feet and his 485-foot shot earlier in the year is the most affected ball this season, according to Baseball Savant. His shortest home run of the year reached 421 feet

Yes, Mercedes has cooled down considerably since early May (two homers, .184 / .248 / .259 slash line) and yes, there are a lot of players in the majors who have more circuits this season than Mercedes. But it’s been fun to watch, and the Home Run Derby is all about the excitement of the event, so why not include it?

Ryan mcmahon

There always has to be a hometown hero fans need to root for, and this year the obvious Rockie would be McMahon. The infielder’s utility man has up to 16 home runs over the year with a career-high .508 shot percentage so far this season and he is tied with Kyle Schwarber for seventh. place with 17.6 home runs expected, indicating he should have about two more home runs a year than he already has.

McMahon has always shown he has a lot of power in the big leagues. In 2019, he pitched 24 home runs, a career-high, and followed nine in 52 games last season. This season he’s just making more consistent hard contact, with career highs in hard hit rate (48.6), average exit speed (92) and his second-highest barrel rate at 9.7%. , by Baseball Savant.

Giancarlo Stanton

No one hits the ball harder than Stanton. So far this season, he owns the worst hit ball in the league at 120.2 mph and among batters with at least 100 batted balls, his 97.4 mph average paces the league, according to Baseball Savant.

He also has a lot of experience in the event. Stanton won the Home Run Derby in 2016 at Petco Park, a stadium considered to be one of the least hitter-friendly, so a trip to Coors could give him the chance to really put on a show. In 51 games this season, he’s already pitched 13 home runs – including five, Statcast unequivocally called. And at 471 feet, he already has one of the longest circuits of the season.

Fernando Tatis Jr.

Of course, the Padres’ dynamic shortstop would make an exciting bat in the Home Run Derby. Tatis may be on a daily basis with a shoulder injury right now, but when in good health he’s one of the best heavy hitters in the game. According to Baseball Savant, he’s tied for the lead. MLB with 14 home runs without a doubt, and he’s only trailing Guerrero and Ohtani for the home run with 22 bombs so far.

And take a look at his batted ball profile. It is in the 90th percentile or above average exit speed, maximum exit speed, hard hit rate, barrel rate, and expected hit percentage. Tatis punishes baseballs. And in the atmosphere of Coors Field – a park he knows very well as an enemy of NL West – he could cause serious baseball damage.


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