2012 Home Run Derby Odds & Preview
Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals home park)
Dimensions of Kauffman Stadium:
Left field and right field: 330 feet
Power alleys: 385 feet
Center field: 410 feet
Starting at the Metrodome in 1985, Major League Baseball has held the Home Run Derby on the Monday of All-Star Week. Over the years this event has had many changes as to the rules and how the winner was determined. Last year the format was revised so that team captains selected the sides for the American and National League. Leading the American League will be 2011 champion Robinson Cano of the Yankees, while Matt Kemp of the Dodgers will lead the National League.
This contest is comprised of eight hitters with the top four advancing to the second round. The first-round totals carry over and the two hitters with the most home runs in the two rounds advance to the finals where totals are reset to zero.
Home Run Derby Notes:
Kauffman Stadium is symmetrical with the same distance down both lines (330 feet) and identical power alleys (385 feet). Although the home-run rate in K.C. is higher than it has been in the past, this is not an easy park to go deep.
Six of the past seven Derby winners have been left-handed batters, including the past four champions — Cano (2011), David Ortiz (2010), Prince Fielder (2009) and Justin Morneau (2008). Since the first individual competition in 1995, Vladimir Guerrero (2007), Miguel Tejada (2004), Sammy Sosa (2000) and Frank Thomas (1995) are the only righties to win.
Kauffman Stadium Home Runs Per Game
Last Six Seasons
2012 – 1.02, 14th in majors
2011 – 0.71, 29th in majors
2010 – 0.92, 19th in majors
2009 – 0.76, 27th in majors
2008 – 0.79, 29th in majors
2007 – 0.90, 20th in majors
JOSE BAUTISTA, Toronto Blue Jays (5/2) – Bats Right
The Toronto outfielder has 27 HR, which are tied with Josh Hamilton for the most in the majors this season. Since the start of 2010, he has 124 homers, which are 32 more than anybody else in baseball. This will be Bautista’s second Home Run Derby, and he didn’t perform very well in 2011, hitting just four homers and failing to advance past the first round. His odds do not provide enough juice to place a large wager on, but he will certainly provide a better showing than he did in 201
Season Home Runs: 27
Career Home Runs: 183
Career at Kauffman Stadium: 2 HR in 64 AB
ROBINSON CANO (7/2), NY Yankees – Bats Left
The Yankees second baseman is making his second appearance in the HR Derby, taking home the championship in 2011 with 32 homers, which tied the third-highest total ever. He smacked eight bombs in Round 1, 12 HR in Round 2 and also hit 12 homers in the Finals. Cano has hit just seven road homers this year (13 at home), but one of his road shots was in Kansas City. All the pressure will be on the defending champ. but The last hitter to post back-to-back titles was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 and 1999.
Season Home Runs: 20
Career Home Runs: 164
Career at Kauffman Stadium: 3 HR in 115 AB
PRINCE FIELDER (4/1), Detroit Tigers – Bats Left
The Tigers first baseman is making his fourth HR Derby appearance. After hitting just three homers in his first Derby in 2007, Fielder won the event in 2009, hitting 23. He also competed last year, advancing to the second round, but totaling just nine homers in the two rounds. He’s entering this contest red-hot, homering in three of his past four games, and with his past experience and success.
Season Home Runs: 15
Career Home Runs: 244
Career at Kauffman Stadium: 0 HR in 24 AB
MARK TRUMBO (9/2), Los Angeles Angels – Bats Right
After smacking 29 homers as a rookie last year, Trumbo hit his 22nd longball of the year on Sunday. Trumbo has more road homers (26) than taters at home (25) in his brief career, which includes his one longball in 25 at-bats in Kansas City.
Season Home Runs: 22
Career Home Runs: 51
Career at Kauffman Stadium: 1 HR in 25 AB
MATT KEMP (5/1), Los Angeles Dodgers – Bats Right
Kemp has been on the Disabled List since May 31 due to a hamstring injury, but has been rehabbing in Triple-A and will be ready to return to the Dodgers after the All-Star Break. Kemp’s first Derby appearance came in 2011, but it didn’t last long, as Kemp managed to hit a field-low two homers.
Season Home Runs: 12
Career Home Runs: 140
Career at Kauffman Stadium: 0 AB
CARLOS BELTRAN (11/2), St Louis Cardinals – Bats Both
Beltran provides great value at 11-to-2 for a couple of reasons. He has the most career homers of anybody in this field, and knows Kauffman Stadium well, having played there for 6½ years to start his career and clubbing 61 bombs in his former home stadium. His most recent longball in K.C. came this season when his Cardinals finished a three-game set there on June 24. He’s also the lone switch-hitter in the field, which provides another edge for him, but he’ll likely bat right-handed exclusively since his career home-run rate as a lefty (1 HR per 22.9 AB) is much worse than right-handed (1 HR per 19.7 AB). The only negative about Beltran, who is making his first Derby appearance, is that he has just one homer in his past 21 games, including 12 straight without a deep fly.
Season Home Runs: 20
Career Home Runs: 322
Career at Kauffman Stadium: 61 HR in 1,568 AB
CARLOS GONZALEZ (6/1) Colorado Rockies – Bats Left
The Rockies outfielder has been in a huge home-run drought lately, not homering since June 15, which spans 19 games and 74 at-bats. He also has just four career at-bats in Kansas City and has never participated in a Home Run Derby contest. Gonzalez has always been much more potent in thin-air Colorado (64 HR, .625 slugging) than on the road (30 HR, .431 slugging) in his career.
Season Home Runs: 17
Career Home Runs: 94
Career at Kauffman Stadium: 0 HR in 4 AB
ANDREW McCUTCHEN (8/1) Pittsburgh Pirates – Bats Left
McCutchen is certainly the underdog in this event as the replacement for injured Giancarlo Stanton. He has never hit more than 23 homers in a season, but he is shattering that pace this season with 18 bombs at the Break. McCutchen’s career HR rate on the road is a mere 1 HR per 29.5 at-bats.
Season Home Runs: 18
Career Home Runs: 69
Career at Kauffman Stadium: 0 AB
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