On Monday July 13th, the 2015 Home Run Derby will take place at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. This year there is a new format, in which it is a bracket style. Instead of the traditional 10 outs, each player is given 5 minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. This can cause fatigue due to the players having to rush to get swings and home runs in, and can only add pressure. With the field being announced on July 8th, here are my picks for the 2015 Home Run Derby.
In this opening matchup, it’s the new power of Bryant vs the old power of Pujols. For this matchup, I choose The Machine, Albert Pujols because of his experience in the event in the past. Bryant’s youth will cause him to focus on hitting the ball as far as possible, and not about hitting as many home runs as he can in the allotted time.
A more youthful matchup here, Pederson has been on a tear this year and his natural swing and raw power produces absolute moonshots. Machado has more of a traditional line drive swing, and most of his home runs are liners. I choose Pederson to win this battle solely because I believe Machado will burn out.
Two different types of sluggers here. Both are the traditional power hitters from their respective sides of the plate. Kind of a toss up, but my pick is for Rizzo here because of his experience of playing in Cincy in the NL.
The hometown kid up against the seasoned veteran. Both of these hitters have been crushing balls this year, but I’m going with Prince Fielder because he always shows up to these events and seems to flat out dominate.
(1) Albert Pujols vs (4) Joc Pederson
Two sluggers from opposite sides of LA. Tough call here, but I think that Pederson’s inexperience will show and he will begin to fatigue in this round. Pujols to the championship.
(6) Anthony Rizzo vs (7) Prince Fielder
Two big lefties with a ton of pop in their bats. I’m only picking Fielder to advance because I believe he will win this epic slug off that will ensue in this round. He’ll eclipse Rizzo by a homer or two tops.
(1) Albert Pujols vs (7) Prince Fielder
Man this is going to be an epic matchup if all goes according to plan. Personally. I’d love to see Pujols go off and take this thing, but I just think he’s going to get out-slugged by Prince. Fielder has just been hitting too well this year and that is going to transition into this year’s Derby.
While this year’s new format is different, it will cause some problems and complaints about how hitters don’t have the time it takes to ensure they get a good swing every time and that they are rushed. We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.