Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Ultimate Home Run Derby

            With the MLB All-Star Break rapidly approaching, every team will get a chance to unwind and rest for the second half of the MLB season. One of the festivities for the All-Star Break is the infamous "Home Run Derby", which has produced countless long ball memories. This begs the question: Which players would you like to see in the "Home Run Derby"? Here's a list of eight players I'd like to see partake in the "Home Run Derby".

  • Ken Griffey Jr., 630 home runs: One of my favorite players growing up, Griffey had a pure swing emulated by many youngsters back in the day (myself included). The four-time AL home run leader has cracked many long balls with the Seattle Mariners, also possessing some leather with his stellar play in center field.
  • Ted Williams, 521 home runs: Williams doesn't just have prowess for power; he's also the last MLB player to bat over .400 in a season by hitting .406 with the Boston Red Sox in 1941. He led the American League in home runs four times (1941-1942, 1947, 1949). 
  • Albert Pujols, 602 home runs: Although his play has degenerated from a sabremetrics standpoint, Pujols is still cranking home runs. Pujols is known for his consistent swing and his batting stance, which has helped him hit so many bombs.
  • Barry Bonds, 762 home runs: Despite Bonds being a polarizing figure, it would be fun to see Bonds partake in a "Home Run Derby". Not only does he hold the record for most home runs in his career, he holds the record for most home runs in a season (73 home runs in 2001).
  • Babe Ruth, 714 home runs: No "Home Run Derby" would be complete without 'The Bambino'. One of the greatest Yankees of all time, Ruth also has the MLB record for highest career slugging percentage (.6897) and OPS (1.164). Ruth was also a dominant pitcher for the Red Sox before becoming a legendary hitter.
  • Hank Aaron, 755 home runs: Originally the "Home Run King" and seen in the eyes of many baseball fans as such, Hammerin' Hank made a living crushing the ball with the Atlanta/Milwaukee Braves. What's amazing is how consistent he was at hitting home runs; Aaron never hit more than 50 home runs in a single season, but never hit less than ten home runs in a single season, either. Aaron holds the record for most career RBIs with 2,297.
  • Mickey Mantle, 536 home runs: A Triple Crown winner (1956), 20-time All-Star, and seven-time World Series champion, Mantle has a great resume as an MLB legend. Mantle also hit the first home run in the history of the Astrodome and has the longest home run in MLB history, hitting a 643-foot home run at Tiger Stadium on September 10, 1960. 
  • Frank Robinson, 586 home runs: Robinson has spent his illustrious career with five different teams, mainly making his mark with the Baltimore Orioles. He also has his number retired by three different teams (Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, and Cleveland Indians) and won the MVP award in two different leagues.

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