Home Baseball Who Bautista, Tulowitzki Should Pick For Derby Teams

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Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies were named Monday as the two captains of the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby in Minneapolis, Minn.

Although neither lead their respective league in home runs, these two sluggers have some big decisions to make in filling out their squads. The rules have changed pretty significantly for this year’s contest. This year, the participants will be making their way through a bracket, a system many have lobbied for in previous years.

Essentially, the player from each league with the most home runs in the first round will receive a bye and not hit again until the third round. Meanwhile, the other participants face off in the second round. The rules will be explained in full detail after the picks.

Yoenis Cespedes was the surprise winner last year. Who will take home the hardware in 2014?

Here’s who Bautista and Tulowitzki should select for the competition.

 

American League:

1. Edwin Encarnacion (TOR), 24 HRs

You’d have to think Joey Bats wouldn’t snub his own teammate, right? Encarnacion has been one of the biggest home run threats over the last few years, and is the biggest reason why Toronto is constantly leading Major League Baseball in big flies. Double E’s power right-handed bat would be fun to watch in Target Field.

2. Nelson Cruz (BAL), 24 HRs

Cruz was one of the last marquee free agents to sign, and Baltimore was the landing spot. It has undoubtedly worked out for the Orioles, as Cruz is atop the American League in several statistics, and has been carrying the Baltimore offense on his back while Chris Davis has struggled.

3. Jose Abreu (CWS), 22 HRs

This is a no-brainer, and I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope Bautista doesn’t leave the young slugger out of the contest. Abreu is clubbing the ball in 2014, his rookie campaign after defecting from Cuba. His home run stroke has been magical for the Pale Hoes this season, and he’d be thrilling to watch in the Home Run Derby.

4. Mike Trout (LAA), 16 HRs

Trout will most likely be a starter for the American League All-Stars in 2014, and that comes despite a relatively slow start for him to begin the 2014 campaign. Regardless, Trout has clubbed 16 home runs, and it would be fun to watch his short stroke translate to batting practice—and to see if he would be able to get the same power output in the 2014 Home Run Derby.

 

First Replacement: George Springer (HOU), 13 HRs

If one of these four decides to decline an invitation to participate, George Springer would be a lot of fun to have in the contest. In limited at bats, he has hit 13 bombs as a rookie, and has really turned some heads and helped transform the Astros’ complexion as one that emits a bright, bright future.

Second Replacement: Alex Gordon (KC), 9 HRs

Hey, don’t sleep on my man Alex. Again, if a couple of these guys decide to not partake in the Derby, I’d love to see Alex Gordon take his crack in a ballpark he sees quite a bit.

 

 

National League:

1. Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ), 15 HRs

All around, I believe Goldy is the best hitter in the National League, and I would love to see him swing for the fences in this year’s Home Run Derby. Big dude with a big stroke. Put him in.

2. Evan Gattis (ATL), 16 HRs

No batting gloves, no problem. The former janitor would clean house in the Home Run Derby if given the opportunity. I would love to see him take his vicious hacks in Target Field.

3. Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), 20 HRs

This is the glaring no-brainer pick for the National League. Stanton is the most gifted home run hitter in baseball, and hits them like you wouldn’t believe—from 480+ footers to clothing-line lasers to the opposite field. This guy is an animal, and I’ll be extremely disappointed if I can’t see him in the contest.

4. Anthony Rizzo (CHC), 16 HRs

I think a lot of people will be shocked by this pick, but Rizzo is absolutely deserving of a top spot. The young Cubs’ slugger is quickly becoming one of the best young power hitters in baseball. I’d love to see him in the Derby.

 

First Replacement: Yasiel Puig (LAD), 11 HRs

Can you bat flip in the Home Run derby? Puig is one of the most exciting players in baseball, and there’s no one who would be more fun to watch in this contest than the Dodgers’ right fielder.

Second Replacement: Michael Morse (SF), 13 HRs

Morse has had a good 2014 in the Bay Area, and boy does he hit the ball hard. If the opportunity presents itself, Morse would be the most threatening underdog in the contest.

 

 

Via MLB.com:

 

2014 GILLETTE HOME RUN DERBY FORMAT

Round 1

  • Ten participants total; five participants representing each league.
  • Batting order will be determined prior to the event. Hitter No. 1 for the NL will hit first followed by Hitter No. 1 for the AL (home team). This order will continue for hitters Nos. 2-5 for each league, with the NL going first followed by the AL.
  • Each participant will receive seven outs.
  • The player from each league who hits the most home runs (AL 1; NL 1) will automatically advance to round three (semifinals).
  • The next two participants with the most home runs from each league (AL 2; AL 3 / NL 2; NL 3) advance to Round 2.

Round 2

  • The two participants advancing from Round 1 for each league will compete against each other (AL 2 vs. AL 3 / NL 2 vs. NL 3).
  • The NL matchup will occur first, followed by the AL matchup, with NL 2 and AL 2 choosing if they want to hit first or second.
  • Each participant will receive seven outs.
  • The winners from the Round 2 matchups (one from each league) will advance to Round 3 (semifinals).

Round 3 (Semifinals)

  • The top seed from each league (AL 1; NL 1) will face the winner from his league’s Round 2 matchup.
  • The NL matchup will occur first, followed by the AL matchup, with NL 1 and AL 1 choosing if they want to hit first or second.
  • Each participant will receive seven outs.
  • The participant from each league with the most home runs will advance to the Finals.

Round 4 (Finals)

  • The semifinal winners (one player from each league) will compete for the crown of Home Run Derby champion.
  • The batting order will be determined by a coin flip, which will be held at a meeting at home plate between the two finalists and their league captains (note that a finalist and team captain could be the same participant).
  • Each finalist will receive seven outs.

Tiebreaker(s)

  • If two or more players are tied for advancement into the next round or for the championship, each player will receive three swings to hit as many home runs as possible. If they are still tied after three swings, they will each take one swing. This process is repeated if necessary until one player wins the swing-off.

 

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