MLB announces 2013 Home Run Derby participantsDavid Wright selects Harper, Gonzalez, Cuddyer; Davis, Fielder join A.L. captain Cano
Joining Wright as representatives of the N.L. will be Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Colorado Rockies outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer. The A.L. competitors who will join Cano include Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder. Cano has yet to select the fourth A.L. participant who will take part in the Derby.
Wright, who was the runner-up in the 2006 Home Run Derby, has 13 home runs on the season, and his 217 career home runs rank third on the Mets all-time list behind Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220). Wright, who was named an All-Star for the seventh time and a fan-elected starter for a fifth time, will join Strawberry (1986, 1990) and Howard Johnson (1989, 1991) as the only Mets to compete multiple times in the Home Run Derby. Wright, who has the second-most 20-homer seasons in franchise history (six), finished with 21 home runs in 2012, representing his franchise-best ninth season with double-digit home runs. He is one of four third basemen in history to record double-digit home run totals in each of his first nine seasons in the Major Leagues, joining Ron Cey (1973-86) and Hall of Famers Eddie Mathews (1952-66) and Mike Schmidt (1973-84). The 30-year-old Wright will become the 16th player from a host team, and the first since Albert Pujols in the 2009 Derby at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, to participate in the event.
Harper, who has 13 home runs on the season, will compete in his first Home Run Derby and will become the second-youngest player ever to participate in the Derby (20 years, 269 days old on July 15th) behind Ken Griffey, Jr. (20 years, 230 days old). The two-time All-Star, who will also become the third-youngest player to start a Midsummer Classic, will become the first player in Nationals history to compete in the event. Prior to moving to Washington, the franchise was represented in the Derby by Montreal Expos All-Stars Hubie Brooks (1986), Larry Walker (1992), Henry Rodriguez (1996) and Vladimir Guerrero (2000).
Gonzalez will participate in his second career Home Run Derby following his debut in the event last year in Kansas City, when he hit four home runs. "CarGo" has an N.L.-leading 24 home runs this season, which is already just 10 shy of his career-high of 34 set in 2010, and his 119 career home runs rank eighth all-time in Rockies history. Gonzalez, who is an All-Star for the second time in his career and a fan-elected starter for the first time, will become the second Rockies player in history to contend in the Derby on multiple occasions, joining Larry Walker (1997, 1999).
Cuddyer, who is tied for ninth in the N.L. with 15 home runs this season, will compete in his first career Home Run Derby. He will become the eighth different player in Rockies history to participate, joining Dante Bichette (1994), Ellis Burks (1996), Walker, Vinny Castilla (1998), Todd Helton (2001), Matt Holliday (2008) and Gonzalez. Cuddyer, who is an All-Star for the second time (also 2011), hit six home runs during his franchise-record and Major League season-best 27-game hitting streak from May 28th-July 2nd. Cuddyer and Gonzalez will become the 13th pair of teammates to take part in the Derby in the same year, and the first since the 2011 event featured Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks and Fielder, and Boston's David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez.
In his first career Home Run Derby appearance in 2011, Cano set a new final round record with 12 home runs, besting the previous record of 11 set by Bobby Abreu (2005), David Ortiz (2010) and Adrian Gonzalez earlier in the 2011 final. Cano, who joined Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg (1990) as the only second basemen to win a Home Run Derby, amassed 32 total home runs during the competition, placing him 13th on the all-time Derby list. Cano, who was also the A.L. captain for last year's Home Run Derby, will become the first Yankees player and the first second baseman in history to participate in the Derby on three occasions. In his nine seasons with the Yankees, Cano has hit 192 home runs, including 20 thus far in 2013, which is tied for seventh in the A.L. Cano, now an All-Star for the fifth time, has hit at least 10 home runs in each of his first nine Major League seasons, joining Hall of Famer Joe Gordon (11 straight seasons, 1938-50) as the only second basemen to accomplish the feat in Major League history.
Davis, who leads the Majors with 33 home runs this season, will compete in his first Home Run Derby. The first-time All-Star becomes the seventh Oriole to participate in the Derby, joining Hall of Famers Eddie Murray (1985) and Cal Ripken, Jr. (1985, 1991-92), as well as Brady Anderson (1996-97), Rafael Palmeiro (1998, 2004), B.J. Surhoff (1999) and Miguel Tejada (2004, 2006). The 33 home runs by Davis ties his career-high set in 2012, and it is currently the most prior to the All-Star break since 2001, when Barry Bonds had 39 and Luis Gonzalez had 35. In addition, the 33 home runs are tied for the fourth-most by an A.L. player prior to the break, trailing Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson (37 in 1969), Griffey (35 in 1998) and Frank Howard (34 in 1969).
Fielder, the defending Home Run Derby Champion, also won the event in St. Louis in 2009. Just the second player with multiple Derby victories (also Griffey: 1994, 98-99), Fielder, who also competed in 2007 and 2011, will become the sixth player to partake in the Derby on at least five occasions, joining Griffey (8), Mark McGwire (7), Bonds (6), Sammy Sosa (6) and David Ortiz (5). Fielder, who has 15 home runs on the season, has hit 63 home runs all-time in the Home Run Derby, which ranks fifth all-time behind Ortiz (77), Griffey (74), Jason Giambi (68) and Sosa (65). Prince will become the second player in Tigers history to appear in multiple Derbys, joining his father, Cecil, who took park in the event three times as a Tiger (1990-91, 1993).
The Chevrolet Home Run Derby will continue to raise funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) as well as MLB's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. More than $3 million has been raised for charity over the past 10 years, with an all-time high of $615,000 donated through the 2012 event. Chevrolet and Major League Baseball will donate a significant amount of money to charity through the 2013 event. In addition, Chevrolet plans to award the winner of the Home Run Derby an all-new 2014 Silverado.
This year's Chevrolet Home Run Derby will continue to follow the format first introduced in 2011, featuring team competition between the A.L. and N.L. Last year, the A.L. defeated the N.L. by a final tally of 61-21, with Prince Fielder of the Tigers winning the individual title in Kansas City. Each of the captains will select a charity of their choice for which their team will be hitting during the Derby.
The donations from the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby will include $150,000 to the winning captain's charity in his name; $100,000 to the BGCA in the name of the winning captain; $25,000 to the charity of the captain of the losing team in his name; and the remainder to the BGCA on behalf of Chevrolet and Major League Baseball.
The total amount of money distributed will be determined by the home runs hit during the competition. For each Gold Ball home run hit by a participant after the ninth out throughout the Chevrolet Home Run Derby, Chevrolet and Major League Baseball will combine to donate $23,000 to designated charities. The dollar figure was selected to coincide with the EPA-estimated best in class 23 miles per gallon highway that the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado features, making it the most efficient V8 in a pickup. Chevrolet and MLB will combine to make an additional donation of $3,000 for every non-Gold Ball home run hit throughout the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby.
The eight participants will each be paired with a youngster representing one of eight local RBI leagues throughout the New York City region. The child paired with the winner of the Chevrolet Home Run Derby will earn $50,000 towards a baseball field makeover for their RBI league. Chevrolet and MLB will also donate $10,000 worth of baseball equipment and uniforms to each of the other seven RBI leagues.
In addition to coverage on ESPN, the 2013 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN, ESPN Mobile TV, and ESPN Radio in the U.S. as well as ESPN International beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT on Monday, July 15th. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.