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Simulating a Minnesota Twins Home Run Derby

Who is the strongest Minnesota Twins?

T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Day 11 without baseball... I think? I am now using MLB The Show to fill the hole in my life that baseball needs to fill. Today I simulated a home run derby among the top eight Twins with the most homers in 2019. Here is the seeding for the derby:

  1. Nelson Cruz
  2. Josh Donaldson
  3. Max Kepler
  4. Miguel Sano
  5. Eddie Rosario
  6. Mitch Garver
  7. Jorge Polanco
  8. Marwin Gonzalez

It’s the usual tournament format with the best seed playing the worst seed and moving on down so it’s 1v8, 2v7, 3v6, and 4v5. It is a three round tournament with each hitter getting four minutes to hit plus a 30 second bonus if two home runs go 440+ feet. Let’s get into it.

Round 1, Match up 1: Nelson Cruz (1) vs Marwin Gonzalez (8)

This is one everyone would pick Cruz to win because he is simply a lot stronger than Marwin, but you’ll never believe what happened! Actually you will. Gonzalez hit 15 but then Cruz came up and hit 16 to win with one minute to spare.

Cruz beats Gonzalez 16 to 15.


Round 1, Match up 2: Josh Donaldson (2) vs Jorge Polanco (7)

Polanco was up first because the lower seed always hits first and he put on a much better showing than I expected. He hit the second most home runs in this round with 22 so Donaldson had a tough task. Sadly for Polanco, Donaldson hit the most this round with 23 and 30 seconds to spare.

Donaldson beats Polanco 23-22


Round 1, Matchup 3: Max Kepler (3) vs Mitch Garver (6)

This was another one where the first batter, Garver, put up a very impressive showing that I didn’t think would be beat but I’m usually wrong. Garver started with 21 home runs but Kepler was able to hit his 22nd to win with about 15 seconds to spare. No upsets so far.

Kepler beats Garver 22-21


Round 1, Match up 4: Miguel Sano (4) vs Eddie Rosario (5)

Will we have our first upset of the derby here? Rosario actually got off to a slow start and cold only finish with 16 home runs. He had about 5 hit the top of the right field wall but just couldn’t get them over. Sano stepped in and got off to a red hot start. He ended up hitting his 17th homer with a minute and 15 seconds to spare.

Sano beats Rosario 17-16


Round 2:

  • Nelson Cruz (1) vs Miguel Sano (4)
  • Josh Donaldson (2) vs Max Kepler (3)

Round 2, Match up 1: Nelson Cruz (1) vs Miguel Sano (4)

The top four seeds advanced so we were still looking for an upset. Sano started this round and hit a pretty solid 22 home runs to try and beat Cruz. Luckily for Sano, Cruz had a difficult round and could only get 19 home runs before his time ran out. Sano upsets Cruz.

Sano beats Cruz 22-19


Round 2, Match up 2: Josh Donaldson (2) vs Max Kepler (3)

This was definitely my favorite match up of the tournament. Kepler started and put up an okay amount with 19 home runs which I didn’t think would be enough to beat Donaldson. I was wrong, as Donaldson was down two with 10 seconds to go but hit one with 5 seconds left and then hit the tying homer on the final second. The two went into a one minute overtime where Donaldson ended up beating Kepler with 22 home runs to Kepler's 21.

Donaldson beats Kepler 23-22 in overtime


Championship Round: Josh Donaldson (2) vs Miguel Sano (4)

The Championship came down to someone in his first year with the Twins versus someone who has been here since 2015. Sano got to start and he blew away everyone's scoring in previous rounds with 26 total home runs. Donaldson came up and was no match for the tournament high 26 that Sano hit as Donaldson finished with 19.

Miguel Sano wins the Minnesota Twins Home Run Derby.

Here are some low quality pictures for you to look at.