2014 Home Run Derby preview, by the numbers

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

What do the numbers say about Yoenis Cespedes, Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of the contestants? (USATSI)
What do the numbers say about Yoenis Cespedes, Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of the contestants? (USATSI)

Related: Staff Home Run Derby predictions | This year's longest home runs

We're within hours of 2014 Home Run Derby at Target Field, so let's set the scene by previewing what we can expect on Monday night.

To do so, we'll run down some relevant numbers for each of the 10 contestants, and -- with a huge assist from Greg Rybarcyk's Hit Tracker Online -- we'll include a visual of each player's 2014 home runs overlaid upon Target Field's dimensions. This, obviously, will give you a quick-and-dirty idea of how individual power tendencies might play during the Derby.

First, though, let's have a quick look at the venue in question ...

Target Field
Home runs, RHBs, 2011-13: -3 percent
Home runs, LHBs, 2011-13: -11 percent

As you're likely aware, Target Field is a tough environment for hitters. In fact, just five parks -- AT&T, Marlins, PNC, Busch and O.co -- have suppressed home run rates to a greater extent than Target has throughout recent history. As for specifics, Target is a bit easier on right-handed batters, as the numbers above show. That's relevant for Monday's purposes, as all but one of the Derby competitors -- former Twin Justin Morneau -- bats from the right side.

Now to those competing for the crown (all numbers from the 2014 season unless otherwise noted) ...

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Bats: R
Fly-ball percentage: 41.1 percent
Home runs as percentage of total fly balls: 15.6 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 13 (0.82 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: 11 HR in 59 AB

Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
Bats: R
Fly-ball percentage: 49.5 percent
Home runs as percentage of total fly balls: 10.0 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 13 (0.89 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: 2 HR in 38 AB

Josh Donaldson, Athletics
Bats: R
Fly-ball percentage: 40.3 percent
Home runs as percentage of total fly balls: 17.2 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 19 (1.20 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: 1 HR in 29 AB

Brian Dozier, Twins
Bats: R
Fly-ball percentage: 43.3 percent
Home runs as percentage of total fly balls: 14.6 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 14 (0.79 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: 21 HR in 605 AB

Adam Jones, Orioles
Bats: R
Fly-ball percentage: 33.8 percent
Home runs as percentage of total fly balls: 14.8 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 14 (0.93 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: 3 HR in 68 AB

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Todd Frazier, Reds
Bats: R
Fly-ball percentage: 38.3 percent
Home runs as percentage of total fly balls: 17.6 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 17 (1.08 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: Not applicable

Justin Morneau, Rockies
Bats: L
Fly-ball percentage: 32.3 percent
Home runs as percentage of total fly balls: 13.4 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 15 (1.16 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: 20 HR in 766 AB

Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Bats: R
Fly-ball percentage: 34.0 percent
Home runs as percentage of total fly balls: 13.3 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 17 (1.19 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: 0 HR in 14 AB

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Bats: R
Fly-ball percentage: 40.2 percent
Home runs as percentage of total fly balls: 21.0 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 23 (1.37 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: 0 HR in 7 AB

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
Bats: R
Fly-ball percentage: 39.4 percent
Home runs/fly ball percentage: 20.6 percent
Balls hit 350 feet or more: 21 (1.50 percent of total pitches)
Career in Target Field: 1 HR in 10 AB

So now who's going to win?

(Sources: FanGraphs, Baseball Savant, Baseball-Reference)

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