The title of this post is fairly self-explanatory. The 2011 Home Run Derby starts at 8:00 PM EDT, and we’ll be right here talking shit about its participants, finding new adjectives for Jose Bautista’s swing mechanics and drinking shots of Wild Turkey every time Chris Berman says “back, back, back, back” like a chicken that mispronounces vowels.

Won’t you join us for the fun?

Comments (2)

  1. In looking at the 40 finalists and semi-finalists over the past 10 years, statistics show 60 percent of players saw a decrease in slugging percentage. Of those 24 players, nine suffered what can be considered a major loss of power (-0.100 in slugging percentage). In comparison only two players gained that much in slugging percentage.

    Slugging Percentage
    Year Name 1st Half 2nd Half Difference
    2002 Sammy Sosa 0.641 0.536 -0.105
    2006 David Wright(notes) 0.575 0.469 -0.106
    2005 Bobby Abreu 0.526 0.411 -0.115
    2001 Luis Gonzalez 0.745 0.62 -0.125
    2003 Garret Anderson(notes) 0.597 0.463 -0.134
    2009 Albert Pujols(notes) 0.723 0.582 -0.141
    2003 Jim Edmonds(notes) 0.668 0.507 -0.161
    2002 Paul Konerko(notes) 0.571 0.402 -0.169
    2008 Lance Berkman(notes) 0.653 0.436 -0.217
    Average .562 .432 -.130

    Players chosen for the Home Run Derby are top hitters from the first half of the season (this season captains were named to select the AL and NL sides). Some players have been invited on the strength of a great first half of the season. These are the players who fit the profile for a substantial decline in the second half.

    If you are going to take this kind of look at the Home Run Derby participants, it is also necessary to look at the sluggers that did not compete. AccuScore looked at the top five home run hitters who did not participate in the derby for each of the past 10 seasons. A whopping 70 percent of those players actually improved their slugging percentage after the All-Star break.

    Slugging Percentage
    Year Name 1st Half 2nd Half Difference
    2004 Albert Pujols 0.599 0.721 0.122
    2003 Alex Rodriguez(notes) 0.544 0.679 0.135
    2007 David Ortiz(notes) 0.556 0.695 0.139
    2001 Richie Sexson 0.476 0.625 0.149
    2008 Carlos Delgado(notes) 0.455 0.606 0.151
    2001 Shawn Green 0.527 0.682 0.155
    2010 Jose Bautista(notes) 0.543 0.702 0.159
    2002 Jim Thome(notes) 0.604 0.773 0.169
    2008 Manny Ramirez(notes) 0.518 0.723 0.205
    Average 0.535778 0.689556 0.153778
    The Home Run Derby curse is real. Since 2001, derby participants have averaged a .025 decline in slugging percentage. The top home run hitters who did not participate averaged a .036 increase in slugging.

  2. I’m a Dodger fan so I’m cheering for Matt Kemp

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