The day before the all-star game is normally filled with hoopla and festivities. One of the annual festivities is the home run derby. There has been a Dodger in the home run derby for three consecutive seasons, but to this point no Dodger has ever won one. Although Joc Pederson came closest to winning in 2015. Dodger’s rookie shortstop Corey Seager will be competing in this season’s home run derby. Hopefully it doesn’t mess up his swing like everyone thought it did to Joc Pederson.
Currently there have been 7 Dodgers that have participated in 8 home run derbys. The Dodgers have hit a collective 49 home runs in the home run derby since 1993. Only two Dodgers have participated in multiple home run derbys’, (Mike Piazza, Matt Kemp) and two Dodgers have been shutout (Piazza, Yasiel Puig) without hitting a single long ball. Here is a list of all seven Dodgers that have played in the home run derby and how many home runs they have hit.
1993 Mike Piazza 0 HR
1994 Mike Piazza 0 HR
1995 Raul Mondesi 2 HR
2005 Hee-Seop Choi 5 HR
2011 Matt Kemp 2 HR
2012 Matt Kemp 1 HR
2014 Yasiel Puig 0 HR
2015 Joc Pederson 39 HR (finished second)
Joc Pederson was the closest to winning after he hit 39 dingers and finished second to Todd Frazier in 2015’s contest. Mike Piazza may have been shutout twice, but he hit a mammoth home run in the all-star game in 1996 winning MVP honors. I guess you could say he saved it for when it counted.
This season Corey Seager will be competing against Baltimore’s Mark Trumbo in the quarterfinal round. Defending champ Todd Frazier is back again. He’ll draw Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies. The other match-ups will have Robinson Cano of the Mariners battling Giancarlo Stanton. Adam Duvall of the Reds will take on Wil Myers of the Padres.
If the home run derby did mess up Joc’s second half swing the numbers would kind of support this. Joc hit 20 home runs in the first half and just 6 home runs in the second half. His average dropped from .230 in the first half to .178 in the second half. His OPS dropped over .200 points as well. The home run derby theory could just be a coincidence but it’s worth considering. Let’s pray that this doesn’t screw with Seager’s swing either. It’s probably just an urban legend. Why take a chance though? That’s what I think at least.
The 2016 home run derby at Petco Park begins at 5 pm and will be televised on ESPN.