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2013 Home Run Derby: Participants and Predictions

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 07:  Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals hits a single to center in the sixth inning of a game against the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park on July 7, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Tim KeeneyContributor IJuly 8, 2013

Easily one of the most scintillating All-Star Weekend events in all of sports, the MLB Home Run Derby is once again upon us. 

On Tuesday afternoon, seven of the eight participants were announced, per Baseball Tonight's Twitter, with the last one supposedly coming on Wednesday:

The American League has controlled the team competition lately, winning the last three years by a combined total of 187-85. 

Will that domination continue this year at Citi Field, or will Pitbull's hora help push the National League back into the winner's circle?

Let's take a look at the participants and make some predictions. 

 

American League Participants

PlayerTeamHome RunsSlugging PctOPS
Robinson CanoNew York Yankees20.526.899
Prince FielderDetroit Tigers15.462.823
Chris DavisBaltimore Orioles33.7121.106
Yoenis CespedesOakland A's15.430.716

 

So, is this team stacked, or is team really stacked?

Not only does the AL squad boast three of the last four champions—captain Robinson Cano won in 2011, Prince Fielder won in 2009 and 2012—but it also has Chris Davis, who has put together one of the most impressive, power-filled first halves of all time, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Additionally, he has hit some towering moon shots. According to ESPN's home run tracker, his 33 bombs have come in at an average of 405.9 feet. 

Meanwhile, Cano is probably going to be pretty fired up to erase last year's bagel from the memories of the fans. 

On Tuesday evening the fourth member of the AL was finally announced: 

 

National League Participants

UPDATE: Thursday, July 11, at 5:30 p.m. ET

MLB PR announces injured Carlos Gonzalez's replacement for the event:

---End of Update---

PlayerTeamHome RunsSlugging PctOPS
David WrightNew York Mets13.519.913
Carlos GonzalezColorado Rockies24.619.988
Michael CuddyerColorado Rockies15.583.975
Bryce HarperWashington Nationals13.549.924

 

There is plenty of potential here. 

According to ESPN's home run tracker, Michael Cuddyer (407.5), Carlos Gonzalez (406.5) and Bryce Harper (406.5) lead all current participants in average home-run distance.

Gonzalez is currently day to day with a finger injury on his right hand, per Troy Renck of the Denver Post, but hopefully he'll be ready to participate and flash his brilliant talent at the plate. 

Then there's Bryce Harper, who originally made a name for himself when he was blasting 500-foot home runs as a teenager:

Combine that raw power with his propensity to go about 107 percent at all times, and there's a very good chance he'll put on a show. 

 

Prediction

I have the right to change this once the fourth AL participant is announced (or, you know, after the contest starts), but for now, I'm taking Harper over Fielder in the finals. 

In the overall team competition, however, the American League will continue its three-year winning streak. 

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