It’s no secret that baseballs are flying out of ballparks at a historic rate. You can turn on a game for a quick second, and these days it seems players are either hitting home runs or they are striking out. It seems that the 2019 total will crush 2017’s record of 6,105 home runs hit in one season.
The Minnesota Twins lead the league with 137 homers, and the Miami Marlins have the least with 51. The 2018 NL MVP Christian Yelich of the Brewers leads all of baseball with 26 homers, followed by Mets’ rookie Pete Alonso with 24. The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger and the Padres’ Hunter Renfroe are tied in third with 23 home runs. With less than one month to go until the 2019 Home Run Derby at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH, these sluggers would make a potential “dream” lineup for the Derby.
- Christian Yelich (26 HR): There’s a slim chance that Yelich participates as most stars tend to avoid the Derby as it could mess up those swings, but how great would it be to see Yelich participate? He has one of the sweetest swings in baseball. If you ever have a chance to check out Yelich’s swing, do it. It’s a very straight-through and beautiful swing, which is why Yelich has so much raw power to all fields. Plus, he leads the league in homers and is on pace to be a back-to-back NL MVP, so why not add a Derby title to the trophy case?
- Pete Alonso (24 HR): Alonso is only five homers away from breaking Darryl Strawberry’s 1983 record of 26 home runs in one season for a Mets rookie. He’s on pace to hit over 50 and has talked about wanting to participate in the Derby. He’s even gotten some support from a former Derby winner, Aaron Judge. Alonso, at the young age of 24, seems to have a lot of fun while playing the game and would have a blast in the Derby. The last Met to take part in the Home Run Derby was David Wright in 2013 at Yankee Stadium.
- Francisco Lindor (12 HR): Every Home Run Derby should have a hometown player participate. Lindor is the face of the Indians, a fan favorite, and a ball of energy. He would be a lot of fun to watch. Last year Harper put on a show for the hometown Nationals by winning the 2018 Home Run Derby, and Lindor should have the chance to do the same. Lindor has had back-to-back seasons with over 30 dingers so the power is absolutely there. Imagine Lindor’s big bright smile as he puts on a show for the Cleveland faithful.
- Cody Bellinger (23 HR): Bellinger is on an absolute out of this world tear, hitting .353 to go along with his 20 home runs. He has so much raw power with his mighty uppercut swing. Bellinger took part in the 2017 Home Run Derby as a rookie and got knocked out in the second round by Aaron Judge. Maybe this MVP candidate will want a chance for some redemption in this year’s Derby.
- Josh Bell (20 HR): Bell has been one of the nice surprises of the season so far hitting 20 home runs, which is already eight homers more than he had a season ago. Bell is one of the leaders for National League first basemen in the All-Star voting. He’s also a switch hitter, so it would be interesting to see if he favors one side or switches it up. No switch hitter has ever won the Home Run Derby.
- Luke Voit (17 HR): Voit has been on a power tear ever since joining the Yankees last season, hitting 31 homers in less than 120 games. With the Cardinals, Voit only had six homers in 70 games. Voit is a big boy and has the power to excel in the Home Run Derby. Plus, if you have a Met in the competition, you’ve got to have a Yankee involved for a little New York competition.
- Nolan Arenado (17 HR): There have been reports from prior seasons about Arenado being tempted to partake in the Home Run Derby, but ultimately electing not to do so. Perhaps after his big seven year extension, he will choose to have some fun and give in. Arenado is one of the best players in the game, and he would be tons of fun to watch. A Home Run Derby title would look nice next to his four Gold Gloves.
- Mike Trout (18 HR): Having the “face” of Major League Baseball, the “KIIID” Mike Trout in the Home Run Derby would be great for baseball. Trout is arguably the best player in the league, but always declines the Derby. In his first nine seasons in the league, Trout already has 260 career home runs and with a 12-year extension this off-season, he should have more than enough time to break 500 home runs and maybe, just maybe, chase Barry Bonds’ record. Trout in the Derby needs to happen at least once. It would be silly for the “face” of baseball who has so much power and size to never partake in the Derby.
We shall see how many of these eight great ballplayers actually participate in the Home Run Derby. If even half of them say yes, this year’s Derby could be one for the ages.
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