Since 1985, baseball fans have been treated to towering displays of power from the league’s best sluggers during All-Star Weekend. This year will be no exception, as the best power hitters from both leagues will compete in the 2013 MLB Home Run Derby at Citi Field for a chance to join the long list of all-time greats who have been crowned champion of the event. With the star-studded casts assembled for the American League and National League lineups, fans in the outfield seats will get plenty of chances to snag souvenirs on July 15.
Get acquainted with this year’s participants below, and be sure to take a look at Vivid Seats’ Guide to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game for information on all of the thrilling festivities taking place as the Midsummer Classic approaches.
Captain — David Wright, Mets | 13 home runs
The third baseman from the hometown New York Mets will serve as captain of the NL squad, and has put together an excellent group of competitors for this year’s Derby. Although Wright has only 13 home runs on the year, he has experience in the contest, having finished second to Ryan Howard in 2006, and will be familiar with the dimensions of Citi Field.
Carlos Gonzales, Rockies | 24 home runs
With an NL-leading 24 home runs, Gonzales has already surpassed his total from last season, and the powerful lefty will certainly be aiming to deposit some long balls on the Shea Bridge in right-center.
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies | 15 home runs
Cuddyer, Gonzales’ teammate in Colorado, has shown a burst of power previously unseen from the 34-year-old veteran. Though his 15 home runs fall short of other NL players not selected for the event, MLB.com produced a convincing theory regarding the selection. According to an article on the site, in 2008, Cuddyer beat out B.J. and Justin Upton, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, and Wright himself, in a friendly long-ball-hitting contest. Five years later, the performance may have still been on Wright’s mind as he made his selections, in addition to the fact that Cuddyer is known for putting on quite a show in batting practice.
Bryce Harper, Nationals | 13 home runs
Harper, who has missed considerable time due to injury, ran away with the MLB Home Run Derby Fan Poll, and at 20 years old is the second-youngest player to ever participate in the event. His violent swing is sure to send several balls over the right-field wall, which stands only 330 feet from home plate.
Captain — Robinson Cano, Yankees | 20 home runs
On pace for his fifth consecutive season of 25-plus homers, Cano—captain of the AL squad—will add to the New York flavor of the event by representing the crosstown Yankees. Winner of the 2011 Derby, Cano is one of only two past champions in this year’s field.
Chris Davis, Orioles | 33 home runs
The MLB home run leader hasn’t looked back after a hot start to the season and is currently on pace to hit 61 homers. His incredible mark of 9.8 at-bats per home run would be the best in the American League in over a decade.
Prince Fielder, Tigers | 15 home runs
Fielder, the defending champion, has the opportunity to join Griffey, Jr., as the only players in the history of the event to take home three titles. Whether or not he ends up with the trophy, the 5’11, 275-pound slugger is sure to provide some highlights along the way.
By leaving one spot open on the AL roster for the moment, Cano gives superstar Miguel Cabrera, who has battled back stiffness, a chance to decide whether he will be physically able to compete. If Cabrera, who currently has 28 home runs, cannot participate, other possibilities include Adam Dunn (23 home runs) Edwin Encarnacion (23), and Raul Ibanez (22).