Early Candidates For The 2019 MLB Home Run Derby
Baseball isn’t a simple game, but it’s the simple things that brings its fans to their feet — you know, like seeing hulking men blast monstrous home runs. On July 8 at the Progressive Field in Cleveland, some of today’s most feared sluggers will converge for the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby.
Bryce Harper won the event last year, but it’s unlikely he’ll be there to defend his Derby belt, saying that “it’s just so tiring”, per Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
With or without Harper, the event is going to be a blast, especially if we see all five players Nitrogen Sports Blog has listed below entering their names as part of the Home Run Derby 2019 candidates.
Top 5 candidates for the 2019 Home Run Derby
Joey Gallo (Texas Rangers)
The home run derby is a competition built for players like Gallo. There isn’t a thing Gallo can do better on the field than mash dingers, and he’s shown plenty of evidence to support that since arriving in the majors in 2015.
Gallo has hit 81 homers from 2017 to 2018 This season, he’s already recorded 17 homers through 50 games. He could have had more homers to date if it weren’t for an oblique injury that caused him to land on the Rangers’ 10-day disabled list in June, but once he returns to the lineup, he should make up for lost time by blasting more moonshots. Gallo is one of the Home Run Derby 2019 candidates to watch out.
There is a power surge in the majors this season, as homers are being blasted on a pace that’s rarely been seen before. The likes of Christian Yelich, Edwin Encarnacion, and Hunter Renfroe have all been consistently sending balls into the orbit.
While they are some of the 2019 home run leaders, none of them made this list, though, we won’t have any problem if they get their names entered for the Derby.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Toronto Blue Jays)
We’ve heard about Guerrero’s power long before he made his first at-bat in the majors. Prior to joining the big leagues, not a few would describe the second-generation pro like he’s something out of a video game because of his seemingly folklore-ish power. He didn’t take much time in the majors to show that his brute strength at the plate isn’t a product of fiction.
Over his first 42 games in his rookie year, Guerrero Jr. has jacked seven homers. He’s young. He’s strong. And he’s got the genes to qualify for the Home Run Derby. His father, Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr., won the 2007 edition of the Derby in San Francisco.
What would be cooler than seeing his son win the same competition 12 years later?
Cody Bellinger (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Bellinger is in the midst of a career year. He’s leading the MVP race over at the National League. Apart from a potential MVP win, it would be nice for his 50-year-old self to look back at 2019 and remember that he also won the Home Run Derby.
Bellinger took part in the 2017 version of the event but was among the losers to that year’s home run derby champ, Aaron Judge, who booted him out in the semifinals. Bellinger will definitely be a man to watch at the Derby if he gives it another go.
Pete Alonso (New York Mets)
The Mets are giving their fans reasons to drink this year. This team is simply not going anywhere in 2019, but at least they have Pete Alonso, who is doing a fantastic job of preventing Mets fans from totally losing it.
The rookie is taking the majors by storm, belting 24 homers (second in the MLB) through his first 72 games. He’s making a strong case to be among the Home Run Derby 2019 candidates. As of this writing, he is slashing .271/.357/.617 with a .974 OPS.
Gary Sanchez (New York Yankees)
Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge have both missed a chunk of the 2019 MLB season due to injuries, but that didn’t stop the Yankees from spoiling their fans with massive taters, thanks in large part to Gary Sanchez, who currently leads the team with 21 home runs in 54 games.
He’s also familiar with the atmosphere of a Home Run Derby, having played in the event’s 2017 iteration. Sanchez also owns the third highest exit velocity this year with a 118.3 clip.
The Home Run Derby this 2019 is a highly anticipated event that will showcase the player’s power and endurance, and it’s making baseball fans excited. Most of them are expecting a nice mixture of youth and veteran presence in the field of candidates, and we’re soon going to find out just who exactly are going to be mashing homers in Cleveland.
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