After smashing a 455-foot rocket to center and outlasting Bryce Harper in a classic final round of last year's Home Run Derby in New York, Yoenis Cespedes of the A's basked in his own powerful achievement and said he was ready to defend his new title.
"If I have the opportunity to play, to participate again next year, God willing, I will absolutely do so," he said.
Now is your chance to have some say in that.
The Home Run Derby that Cespedes won in such dazzling fashion -- who can forget those those 17 long balls in the first round? -- is an entertainment showcase for the fans. That's why you see the Home Run Derby Fan Poll as part of your brand-new All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian.
Just select three players, out of 10 choices in each league, whom you would most like to see in the Home Run Derby at Target Field in Minnesota. It will help Major League Baseball gauge interest in the sluggers people want there the most. Then plan to watch the event, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, as it is broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the U.S. at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 14.
In addition to Cespedes, who had four homers entering the A's current series at Houston, these are your American League candidates: Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, Carlos Beltran of the Yankees, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, 2011 winner Robinson Cano of the Mariners, Chris Davis of the Orioles, 2009 and '12 winner Prince Fielder of the Rangers, All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins, 2010 winner David Ortiz of the Red Sox and Mike Trout of the Angels.
The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates, Jay Bruce of the Reds, Paul Goldschmidt of the D-backs, Harper of the Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Braves, Buster Posey of the Giants, Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers, Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies and David Wright of the Mets.
The Home Run Derby has been curiously dominated by the Junior Circuit lately, with the last four champions coming from there. The only NL player to win it since 2006 was Fielder while he was a Brewer in '09.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.