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The Best Home Runs From Each HR Derby Participant

With the emergence of StatCast in Major League Baseball, fans are getting a more in-depth look at some of the greatest plays.  Obviously the most distinctive titles to hold are the fastest pitches and the farthest home runs, however every pitched and batted ball is tracked by several other key categories as well. The statisticians over at MLB are now also tracking other factors like Exit Velocity, Launch Angle, Height, and Average Generated Velocity.

To save you from having to sift through all of these data points, we collected the greatest home runs of the season from each of the eight contestants who will be participating tonight. Let's just say that we're going to be in for a "smashing" performance.

This is what the bracket looks like:

#1 - Giancarlo Stanton 

Giancarlo Stanton comes into the 2017 Home Run Derby as the Number One seed, returning this year as the reigning champion. While there are 13 players ahead of him for "furthest home run of the season" (his longest is 465 feet), he has shown incredible endurance during the Home Run Derby. His performance last year resulted in several standing ovations from the crowd, and he crushed 61 home runs en route to taking the championship. Stanton looks to preserve his title in his hometown for the Miami Marlins as they are the host for the All Star festivities. Here is his 465-foot solo shot, which he hit last month versus the Pirates:

#2 - Aaron Judge

By now, if you even remotely follow baseball, there is no way you haven't heard of Aaron Judge.  The rookie has ignited through the first half, tearing up the league. Judge leads the majors in home runs (30), and is in the top 5 in the American League in RBI and AVG, making him a potential candidate for the Triple Crown. Nearly everything he has done on the playing field has had some sort of historical significance.

Besides those more-obvious stats, when you break down the 25-year-old's StatCast registry, you will see the direct correlation to the success he is having. On average, he hits the ball and it comes off his bat at 97.2 MPH, which is over 2 MPH faster than any other major leaguer... and that's just the starting point. His home runs are 413-feet on average, which includes the 495 foot missile he hit last month, and not only does he hold the record for the highest exit velocity at 121.1 MPH, he takes up nine spots in the top 18. In fact, take a look at the top six places alone:

Here are a couple of stats that are often overlooked, but they really give you an idea of what Judge can attribute his enormous success to: He barrels the ball up an impressive 13% of the time when he hits. You combine that with the 8.7 MPH of Generated Velocity which he produces and the ball goes a long way at a very fast rate. His 8.7 MPH Generated Velocity is at least 30-45% harder than most of the top players in the majors - no others are even above the 7 MPH mark. 

Here is that 495-foot solo shot from June:

 

 #3 - Cody Bellinger

Similar to the stories of Judge and Gary Sanchez, Cody Bellinger is over in the National League leading an historic season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The rookie got called up in late April and has since hit an astonishing 25 home runs.  One of them being this 432-foot jack in May. 

 

 #4 - Mike Moustakas

In his seventh season with the Kansas City Royals, Mike Moustakas has found his stroke of power. Last year he tore his ACL and played in just 27 games, so he has proven that you can come back from injury better than ever.  He has 25 home runs at the halfway point this season when he hadn't ever had more than 22 in an entire season. This wasn't Moustakas' longest home run of the season, but it was the 100th of his career - and he crushed it.  It was a 427 foot solo home run against the Red Sox a few weeks ago:

#5 - Miguel Sano

This being Miguel Sano's third year in The Show, besides being named to the American League Derby Team, he was also named an All-Star for the first time in his career. The 24-year-old slugged 21 home runs, one of which being a mammoth 465-foot solo home run to center field last week against the Royals:

#6 -  Charlie Blackmon

Blackmon will participate in his first career Home Run Derby as the sixth seed.  Yesterday he got a hold of a pitch and drove it to right-center field for his longest of the season...a 469-foot solo shot versus the White Sox. He has tallied 20 so far in his seventh season with the Colorado Rockies

#7 - Justin Bour 

Another Miami Marlin will represent the hometown host city in the Home Run Derby. Justin Bour has 20 home runs in his fourth MLB season with the Marlins. 

 

 #8 - Gary Sanchez

Gary Sanchez looks to make a statement and prove himself after the Rays' Logan Morrison made some unprofessional comments last week. Through his first 112 games, Sanchez and Judge are nearly identical in their home run tallies. El Gary has 33 home runs in 112 games, and Judge has 34 in 111. Last year, Sanchez broke into the league late in the season and demolished 20 home runs in just 53 games. He has tallied 13 so far this year. His longest was in June versus the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. It traveled 450 feet:

 Who do you think will win? Who will have the longest HR?

 

All Star festivities open up tonight with the #HomeRunDerby! Tag a friend and comment who will win tonight ⚾️💪🏽

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