How might the 2013 Home Run Derby participants have fared under the new bracket format?
A new, bracketed format has been announced for this year's Home Run Derby. Captains Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki will choose four (not three) players from their respective leagues to hit in the opening round and they'll get seven (not 10) outs to crush as many homers as they can. The top home run hitter from each side will get a bye to the semifinals, while the second and third-place finishers will battle it out in the second round. The bracket looks like this:
So, how would last year's Derby participants have fared under this new seven-out format? Would Cespedes still have won? Would Cano still be eliminated after the first round? How many home runs would've Mr. Worldwide hit? (Answer: All of them.)
Here's a look at how many home runs each 2013 contestant hit in the first round of last year's Derby, and how many they hit in their first seven outs -- in other words, how many they would have hit with 2014's rules.
American League First Round
Robinson Cano - 2013 (4 home runs), 2014 (4 home runs)
Prince Fielder - 2013 (5 home runs), 2014 (4 home runs)
Chris Davis - 2013 (8 home runs), 2014 (8 home runs)
Yoenis Cespedes - 2013 (17 home runs), 2014 (15 home runs)
Cespedes automatically advances to the third round. We'll give the new swing-for-swing tiebreaker to Prince (who ended up hitting an extra homer after his seventh out last year) and he'll face Davis in the second round. Cano is again knocked out after the first round.
National League First Round
Michael Cuddyer - 2013 (7 home runs), 2014 (3 home runs)
Pedro Alvarez - 2013 (6 home runs), 2014 (4 home runs)
David Wright - 2013 (5 home runs), 2014 (5 home runs)
Bryce Harper - 2013 (8 home runs), 2014 (7 home runs)
Cuddyer, who actually advanced to the second round last year, is out after tallying just three homers after seven outs. Harper advances straight to the third round and Alvarez and Wright battle it out in the second round.
Now, things get really hypothetical. Would Chris Davis defeat Prince Fielder in the second round? Davis only hit four long balls in last year's second round, a total a man such as Prince can easily make up. And would we carry over Cespedes' second round tally of six to the third round? Davis could seemingly surpass that number, but let's face it, in these competitions Cespedes is generally better than the rest of us:
As far as the National League, we can carry over Alvarez's two homers after seven outs in the first round and he theoretically beats Wright. Could Harper top Alvarez in the third round? We're giving Bryce the edge, mostly because of that home run-caliber hairdo:
After all this (tremendously-researched) conjecturing, we end up with the same final as last year. And, yes, we're picking the same winner:
Let us know your thoughts on the new format in the comments below.