2014 Home Run Derby preview & open thread

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME LONGBALLS?

The Home Run Derby started in Minneapolis, back in 1985. In its rookie debut, the derby took on a much different format than what we've been accustomed to seeing over the years. Five hitters from each league took their cracks, with Dave Parker outhitting his contemporaries with six home runs, but it was the balance of the American League that helped to outpace Parker and his National League teammates.

American League Team HR National League Team HR
Jim Rice Red Sox 4 Dave Parker Reds 6
Eddie Murray Orioles 4 Dale Murphy Braves 4
Carlton Fisk White Sox 4 Steve Garvey Dodgers 2
Tom Brunansky Twins 4 Ryne Sandberg Cubs 2
Cal Ripken Jr. Orioles 1 Jack Clark Cardinals 2


Before we get to who is doing the slugging tonight, I wanted to bring your attention to this cool interactive Home Run Derby tool. It comes from SeatGeek, and it "helps fans determine which seats at Target Field tonight offer the best odds of catching a Home Run Derby ball, as well as which provide the best value based on ticket prices as compared to home run odds."

Here's more on their methodology:

Leveraging data from Hit Tracker Online, we first plotted where all HRD participants' home runs this season would have landed had they been hit at Target Field. Then, we projected the total number of home runs we expect to be hit in this year's competition (based on the new format, historical trends, park factors and more) and came to a projection of total number of home runs hit per section, as well as the average ticket price per expected home run hit for each section.

This is where Dozier's bombs are most likely to land, but definitely head over and have a play.

Hr_derby_medium

Now, onto the specifics for tonight's neck-wrenching action. Batters will be limited to seven outs instead of ten, which is one of the new rules put in place to ensure that the participants don't flag as quickly. The player from each league with the most homers after round one gets a bye and moves on directly to the semi-finals.

The second and third place finishers for each league will then face each other in round two, again getting seven outs with which to work. Winners of the second round take on the winners of the first round, who had the bye, and of course the winners of the semi-final will square off to see who can hit the most home runs with seven outs.

Tonight's teams:

American League HR National League HR
Jose Bautista 17 Troy Tulowitzki 21
Josh Donaldson 20 Todd Frazier 19
Brian Dozier 18 Justin Morneau 13
Adam Jones 16 Yasiel Puig 12
Yoenis Cespedes 14 Giancarlo Stanton 21
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