WASHINGTON -- Cubs second baseman Javier Baez stepped into the batter's box at Nationals Park determined to put on a show.And that's exactly what he did.Baez hit 16 home runs in the first round of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday, including one that traveled 479 feet, the longest
WASHINGTON -- Cubs second baseman Javier Baez stepped into the batter's box at Nationals Park determined to put on a show.
And that's exactly what he did.
Baez hit 16 home runs in the first round of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday, including one that traveled 479 feet, the longest of the night.
But the homers, many of which traveled more than 420 feet, were not enough as Dodgers infielder Player Page for Max Muncy followed with 17 home runs with 30 seconds to spare to eliminate Baez from the competition.
"I put on a pretty good show, and Muncy put a good one on, too," Baez said. "I feel great about it, and it was a great experience."
Baez went down swinging. He hit at least two home runs in a row three times, including three in a row to end the regulation round. He added two more home runs to up his total in the 30-second bonus round. His older brother, Gadiel, who throws him batting practice during the offseason back home in Puerto Rico, served as the pitcher.
"[Gadiel] did great. I liked the way he pitched to me tonight," Baez said. "He threw a normal BP. I wasn't rushing, but I was maybe trying to hit it harder than usual. He was fine, and I am good with that."
Baez's hardest-hit ball was 102 mph and traveled 402 feet. The average distance for the home runs was 422.1 feet, and the average exit velocity was 103.3 mph. The exit velocity on his 479-foot home run was 107 mph.
"I wish I would have won it," Baez said. "We will see next year if I am available to do it. I would do it."
• Baez picture of style in jacket Clemente once wore at ASG
Baez, who has 100 hits and 19 home runs in 343 at-bats this season, took a timeout at the two-minute mark. He was greeted at home plate by fellow Puerto Rican stars Francisco Lindor, Yadier Molina, Edwin Diaz and Jose Berrios, along with teammates Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber, and the group gathered around their good friend again when it was all over.
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Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.