Sunday, July 10, 2005

« HR Derby competitors, predictions »

By Suss
The field for Monday's Century 21 Home Run Derby was announced last week. Many of these names are unfamiliar to the Derby. Career totals include this year's stats:
  • United States: Rangers 1B Mark Teixeira (25 HR in '05, 88 HR in 3 seasons)
  • Dominican Republic: Red Sox DH David Ortiz (21 HR, 151 in 10 seasons)
  • Puerto Rico: Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez (6 HR, 256 HR in 15 seasons)
  • Venezuela: Phillies RF Bobby Abreu (18 HR, 184 in 10 seasons)
  • Panama: Brewers LF Carlos Lee (22 HR, 174 in 7 seasons)
  • Canada: Pirates LF Jason Bay (16 HR, 46 in 3 seasons)
  • Netherlands: Braves CF Andruw Jones (27 HR, 277 in 10 seasons)
  • South Korea: Dodgers 1B Hee-Seop Choi (13 HR, 38 in 4 seasons)
The only player to previously participate in a Derby was Ortiz, who went out in the first round of the '04 Derby after hitting only 3 out of Minute Maid Park in Houston. CORRECTION: Pudge did play in the 2000 Derby in Atlanta, but only hit one in the first round.

You can predict the results player by player at's Home Run Derby Challenge. I already played, and I'm sure I don't remember how I entered it, so my prediction will differ from my entry.

Round 1 Prediction

Pudge Rodriguez will hit in his home field, despite having way fewer home runs than anyone else this season. He's not a home run hitter, and he admits it. But let's look at the numbers of the last five Derbies, how the lowest-HR player fared:
  • 2004: Rafael Palmeiro (13): 3rd
  • 2003: Garret Anderson, Gary Sheffield (22): Anderson won, Sheffield 5th
  • 2002: Richie Sexson (19): 4th
  • 2001: Jason Giambi (19): 3rd
  • 2000: Chipper Jones (22): T-6th
And here's how the "hometown player" finished:
  • 2004: Lance Berkman, Minute Maid Park (2nd)
  • 2003: None, U.S. Cellular Field
  • 2002: Richie Sexson, Miller Park (4th)
  • 2001: Bret Boone, SAFECO Field (5th)
  • 2000: Chipper Jones, Turner Field (T-6th)
I guess I should gauge his performance somewhere in between Sexson and Chipper's results, which were fourth and sixth. And while it looks like Pudge will be the fan's favorite (and may have been picked because of it), he does have a lot of homers in his career -- the year he played in the Derby (2000) he hit 26 homers before the break.

I'll put him in the second round.

And if you want head-scratching homer history, the player with the most HR doesn't necessarily win. Let's see how the participant with the most homers pre-break did:
  • 2004: Jim Thome (28), 6th
  • 2003: Jim Edmonds, Carlos Delgado (28), Edmonds 4th, Delgado 6th
  • 2002: Lance Berkman (29), 8th
  • 2001: Barry Bonds (39), 4th
  • 2000: Ken Griffey (28), 2nd
So, in this year's Derby, this stat works against Andruw Jones.
David Ortiz: 10
Mark Teixeira: 8
Carlos Lee: 7
Pudge Rodriguez: 5
Jason Bay: 4
Bobby Abreu: 4
Andruw Jones: 3
Hee-Seop Choi: 1
Round 2 Prediction

David Ortiz has the hot bat at this point, but since because he did poorly in Houston, he doesn't realize a hot bat in the first round has spelled doom in the past four Derbies. None of the early leaders went on to win, and only one even made it to the finals:
  • 2004: Rafael Palmeiro (9 in Round 1, lost in Round 2)
  • 2003: Jason Giambi (12 in Round 1, lost in Round 2)
  • 2002: Sammy Sosa (12 in Round 1, advanced to finals)
  • 2001: Jason Giambi (14 in Round 1, lost in Round 2)
Ortiz cools down, and Pudge sentiment wears off.
Teixeira: 7
Lee: 6
Ortiz: 4
Pudge: 2
Finals Prediction

It's down to Teixeira and Lee, and while the ball carries better to left field, Lee, a righty, has history stacked up against him and Teixeira, a switch hitter but will probably hit left.

In the last 9 Derbies, only 2 of the winners have come from the right side of the plate: Sammy Sosa in 2000 and Miguel Tejada last year. So the fearless prediction from the Futon Report: Mark Teixeira by 2.
Teixeira: 6
Lee: 4


Blogger Zach said...

I still argue they should have it in Tiger Stadium. It'd give some use to the old place.

July 11, 2005 3:09 AM  

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