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Possible Dark Horses in the 2017 MLB Home Run Derby

Judge, Stanton, and Bellinger will headline the 2017 Home Run Derby, but two others may surprise the fans in Miami

By Quinn AllenPublished 7 years ago 4 min read
Sports Illustrated

The three day All-Star festivities begin on Sunday, highlighted by the 2017 Futures game, featuring some of the best prospects in baseball who are sure to be future big leaguers.

Monday night is the big show, the Home Run Derby. Eight of the best power hitters in the majors will face off with one hoping to dethrone Giancarlos Stanton, who hit 61 homers across three rounds to win it last year in San Diego. Stanton may have the advantage this year on his home turf at Marlins park, but Aaron Judge will look to change that after an absolutely stellar first half of the 2017 MLB season, where he is leading the big leagues with 29 home runs.

Here is how it will line up:

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With no surprise, Stanton holds the #1 seed heading in.

I know a lot of the attention will be going towards Stanton, Bellinger, and Judge, but I think Miguel Sano and Justin Bour could surprise.

Miguel Sano

Sano has been known for his power ever since being signed by the Twins out of the Dominican Republic back in ’09 for over $3 million. That investment has been well worth it for Minnesota, as Sano has turned into a serious power threat in the American league. The 24-year old already has 20 homers this year — five shy of his career best of 25 last season where he played just 116 games. Sano has very effortless power, and I think he could surprise people come Monday night. According to ESPN Home Run Tracker, Sano has an average home run distance of 413.9 feet this season. The only other home run derby participant above him on the list? Aaron Judge at an average of 415.4 feet. Not much of a difference. This doesn’t mean a lot, but it does show that Sano does have some serious power. He’s very big and strong, generating a ton of lift on his homers. He doesn’t hit wall scrapers, he hits no doubters. He does a great job using the entire field — More than half of Sano’s homers this year have been to center and right field. It’s a big ballpark in Miami, but honestly I don’t see that being a problem for the big Twins third basemen. He’ll face off against Royals third basemen Mike Moustakas in the first round, but I think Sano will come out on top.

The sole reason I think he could succeed in this event is because he has such easy power. His swing is really effortless, and even if he doesn’t barrel up the ball completely it still has a chance to get out of the ballpark. He’s truly one of the best power hitters in the entire big leagues. Playing in Minnesota, he doesn’t get as much notoriety, but this will definitely be the time to showcase that pop in his bat.

Justin Bour

Bour is another big, burly guy at the plate. The Marlins first basemen has gone deep 19 times so far this season, just four homers from his career high in 2015 where he hit 23 in 129 games. First off, Bour is facing off against Aaron Judge in the first round. Before I get into what Bour brings to the table, I don’t believe he will beat out Judge in the first round. But I do believe Justin Bour will surprise fans, and he will be at his home stadium in Miami which could most definitely be an advantage. Blessed with a smooth left handed swing, Bour has averaged a home run distance of 399 feet this season. Bour is more pull heavy — the majority of his home runs this season have been to right field, but he knows Marlins Park pretty well.

I just have a feeling inside of me that Bour could make it closer than we think with Judge in the first round on Monday night. He has some pretty impressive power that doesn’t get noticed so much because of Giancarlos Stanton hitting a couple spots in front of him in the lineup down in Miami. I don’t think Bour has the type of power that Sano has, but I do believe he is underestimated. He still has some sick pop. My prediction is that Judge will come out on top between the two, but Justin Bour will give him a run for his money and make everyone one believe that there is more than just one power hitter down in South Beach.

Who will win?

I believe the two names I discussed above could be pleasant surprises this Monday night, but who will win it all? I’m going to say it will be Aaron Judge and Giancarlos Stanton in the final, with Judge taking the crown to cap off a tremendous rookie campaign.

Either way, it will be entertaining as always, and it should be very interesting to see how Sano and Bour do in their first time in the Home Run Derby.

Who knows, maybe one of them could surprise us all. Every one of these hitters has the ability to do so, that’s for sure.


About the Creator

Quinn Allen

Sports Journalist

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