How (I believe) the Home Run Derby will pan out
Quick little post here, just want to explain how I believe the Home Run Derby will pan out and why.
Jesus Aguilar (1) vs. Rhys Hoskins (8)
Yes, Aguilar is having a breakout season, but remember when Hoskins hit 18 homers in 50 games last year? Hoskins clearly has more raw power and his type of swing, one where he hangs in the air then crashes down on the ball, plays well in a dinger competition, especially one that now requires endurance.
Alex Bregman (4) vs. Kyle Schwarber (5)
Same type of story here. Schwarber has immense power, but injuries and inconsistent playing time have limited his HR output. And no disrespect to Bregman, but Schwarber is the physically dominant male who’s swing is the same type as Hoskins. Add the fact that he’s left-handed and you have a guy who could go off in this derby (due to the somewhat short porch and low wall in right at Nationals Park).
Bryce Harper (2) vs. Freddie Freeman (7)
It’s his home ballpark and he is just itching to mash a baseball after hitting below .200 since June. We all know what Harper can do in these derbies, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him to it again. Freeman is a great hitter (a la Joey Votto) but he lacks the quality of being able to put a ball into orbit.
Max Muncy (3) vs. Javier Baez (6)
Muncy is another guy having a breakout power (and all-around) year, but have you ever seen Baez swing? He’s like if Carlos Gomez and Adrian Beltre were mushed into one hitter: he swings like his life depends on it, goes to the ground often, and has a huge leg kick, yet he maintains enough control to launch the ball over the fence. Throw in all the swagger he has and Baez is a lock.
Rhys Hoskins (8) vs. Kyle Schwarber (5)
As I said earlier, the two are very comparable (at least in terms of their swings) so this is a tough choice. However, going back to Schwarber’s leftiness and recognizing that he has more Major League experience gives him the slight edge in my mind. This would be a great matchup to watch.
Bryce Harper (2) vs. Javier Baez (6)
Did I understate how much Harper wants this? He is trying to play himself into a $400 million contract this offseason and he’s having arguably his worst year (not to mention his team sits 5.5 games out of their division lead). I love watching Baez swing but something tells me Harper is going to go into robot mode (Albert Pujols anyone?) and tattoo some balls.
Bryce Harper (2) vs. Kyle Schwarber (5)
Both swing left-handed, both can mash, both have had good power years. But when you’re playing at your home stadium and you have this much hype surrounding you, it’s hard to get knocked out of the zone. We might see Harper break 500 ft in this final round.