After an almost hour long rain delay (good job with that open stadium there Minnesota, just kidding, Target Field is beautiful) and a gorgeous, St. Louis arch-like rainbow over the stadium later, the 2014 Home Run Derby finally began.
Not only was the rain new to this year’s Home Run Derby, at least compared to 2013′s at the New York Mets’ Citi Field, there is a completely new format to the derby. Instead of the usual four players competing from each league, there will be five who will play in a bracket style competition. Call to the Pen’s own Aaron Somers, who gave us a preview this morning, described it perfectly,
“Under the new rules, each player will receive seven outs in the first round instead of the usual ten. The player with the highest home run total from each league will receive an automatic bye into the third round (the semifinals). The next two players with the highest totals will face off against eachother head-to-head in the second round, again receiving seven outs, before moving on to the semifinals to face their league’s top seed (again, with seven outs to work with).
From there, the winner from each league will face off in the finals. Once again, players will be working with just seven outs apiece. Should they remain tied after that then the first tiebreaker will afford players another three outs.”
Also, if players tie in an early round there will be a swing off between the ties in the league. The winner of the swing-off will advance to the next round.
Here are the 2014 Home Run Derby line ups. Batting first for the National League is Todd Frazier, who will be followed by the American League’s Brian Dozier. After them it will alternate as follows N.L. captain Troy Tulowitzki, A.L. captain Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton, Adam Jones, Yasiel Puig, Josh Donaldson, Justin Morneau and last year’s champion Yoenis Cespedes. In an unexpected twist, Puig batted in Stanton’s spot and vice versa, for a still unknown reason.
First Round Results:
- Frazier: 2 (swing off)
- Dozier: 2 (out)
- Tulowitzki: 4 (second round)
- Baustista: 10 (bye)
- Puig: 0 (out)
- Jones: 4 (second round)
- Stanton: 6 (bye)
- Donaldson: 3 (swing off)
- Morneau: 2 (swing off)
- Cespedes: 3 (swing off)
Watch as Baustista aka “Joey Bats” hits ten home runs in the first round:
With Bautista and and Stanton receiving a bye straight to the third round, there were a couple of tie breakers that were broken in a “swing off” and the player with the total number from the swing offs, between the A.L.’s Donaldson and Cespedes and N.L.’s Frazier and Morneau moved on to the second round.
Swing off results:
Cespedes: 2 vs. Donaldson: 1
Frazier: 1 vs. Morneau: 0
Tulowitzki: 2 vs. Frazier: 6
Cespedes; 9 vs. Jones: 3
Check out Cespedes, known in Oakland as “Yoenis the Menace” or simply “Yo,” hits nine homers in the second round:
Third Round Results:
Frazier: 1 vs. Stanton: 0
Cespedes: 7 vs. Bautista: 4
Frazier: 1 vs. Cespedes: 9
So, after an hour long rain delay and almost four hours worth of watching some spectacular home runs, your 2014 Home Run Derby Champion is Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics. The now back to back Home Run Derby Champion will be no-doubt looking to win his third straight in 2015. Congratulations and good luck Yoenis! Hopefully, after two years, Chris Berman will learn how to pronounce your first name correctly in 2015. Personally I doubt it, but we shall see in a year’s time. For now, here is Cespedes hitting in the Final Round of the 2014 Home Run Derby: