What to know about Yasiel Puig and the Home Run Derby
Here’s the NL HR Derby team, with a look at where their HRs this season would have landed at Target Field pic.twitter.com/YeyGU5zqPT
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 8, 2014
By Jon Weisman
Above is a chart from ESPN Stats & Information that gives you a flavor of what this year’s Home Run Derby — co-starring Yasiel Puig, we learned today — would look like, if this year’s Home Run Derby were the first 3 1/2 months of the baseball season compressed into one night.
But not only does this year’s Home Run Derby not resemble that, it doesn’t even resemble last year’s Home Run Derby. Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com summarizes the key differences:
A new format has been installed, as the five players from each league will receive seven outs instead of the usual 10 in the first round. The player who hits the most homers in each league will receive an automatic bye to the third round (semifinals). The next two players from each league with the most homers will square off against one another in a head-to-head matchup in the second round (seven outs), with the two winners advancing to the semifinals against the league’s top seed (again, with seven outs).
The final round will also consist of seven outs, and, if necessary, the first tiebreaker would allow each of the two remaining participants three swings apiece.
Here’s how many regular-season home runs the Dodgers’ past Home Run Derby combatants hit in the second half of those seasons, post-Derby:
17 in 67 games: Mike Piazza, 1993
3 in 24 games: Mike Piazza, 1994
13 in 71 games: Raul Mondesi, 1995
2 in 55 games: Hee Seop Choi, 2005
17 in 69 games: Matt Kemp, 2011
11 in 70 games: Matt Kemp, 2012
Three of the competitors were on 30-homer paces after the Derby. Kemp almost was again in 2012, the year injuries first struck.
Choi hit 34 of his 40 career home runs from 2002-05 before the All-Star Break.
Puig has 12 home runs this year, but one home run in his past 37 games.