BY MICHAEL HAMMOND | Minor League Knocks
July 10, 2017 | Home Run Derby
MIAMI, Fla. – Aaron Judge left no doubt that he should be the 2017 home run derby champ as he slugged 47 homers to win the annual all-star break derby at Marlins Park on Monday in Miami, Florida.
Judge needed just two minutes and 16 swings to hit 11 home runs and take down Miguel Sano in the championship round. The toughest matchup for Judge came in the first round as he needed 23 homers to beat Justin Bour. Sano had the easier route to the final hitting 11 bombs in each of the first two rounds.
In the first round, all four matchups were decided by one home run. It saw two of the four lower seeds win, including the No. 8 seed upsetting the No. 1 seed and defending champion. Both New York Yankees took down both home town Miami Marlins. Two hitters lost while not earning bonus time (hitting two home runs over 440 feet).
(5) MIGUEL SANO 11, (4) MIKE MOUSTAUKAS 10
Miguel Sano led off the entire derby with a slow paced 11 home runs. While he kept bouncing balls off the window on the left field concourse, he left quite a few home runs foul. Mike Moustaukas used a line drive approach and hit more balls than Sano, but none went over 440 to earn bonus time and Sano escaped to the second round.
(8) GARY SANCHEZ 17, (1) GIANCARLO STANTON 16
Batting first in the matchup, Gary Sanchez got in a groove to reach his 17 home runs. Giancarlo Stanton, the defending champ, hometown hero, and this year’s derby favorite, started off his round not able to elevate the ball. Once he got going he filled the longest home run leaderboard with the top five home run distances. However, Stanton fell just one short of the second-year Yankee when it was all said and done.
(3) CODY BELLINGER 15, (6) CHARLIE BLACKMON 14
In the NL West matchup, Charlie Blackmon led off with 14 home runs. The Rockies’ leadoff hitter looked just like that, a leadoff hitter and not a power slugger. Most of his home runs just went over the fence, but he reached a high total with his quick pace. Cody Belling followed up Blackmon’s performance with a clutch round. Bellinger’s 13th and final bomb of regulation went 446 foot to earn his bonus time, where he hit his 15th with five seconds left on the clock.
(2) AARON JUDGE 23, (7) JUSTIN BOUR 22
The final first round matchup featured likely the best two derby hitters in the field. Justin Bour led off with 22 dingers, which led the field to that point, and fired up his home crowd. Then came the rookie-wonder Aaron Judge. Judge put on an absolute show and hit 23 homers, including a 501-footer to lead the first round. Judge even had a ball that was a no-doubter disallowed after it hit the roof before leaving the yard.
(5) MIGUEL SANO 11, (8) GARY SANCHEZ 10
Sanchez never found his groove in the second round and that would be the end of him. Sano followed him up and looked relaxed and confident the entire round. Sano took his time and matched his first round with 11 home runs to down Sanchez with 46 seconds left on the clock.
(2) AARON JUDGE 13, (3) CODY BELLINGER 12
Bellinger put up a respectable 12 home runs in the first at bat of the matchup, but later gave himself a “negative 12 percent” chance as he talked to the ESPN broadcasting crew during Judge’s round. In that round, Judge made a run at reaching 13 in just half the time. After a 513-foot 11th homer, Judge missed a few balls and ended up hitting his 13th with about a minute left on the clock.
(2) AARON JUDGE 11, (5) MIGUEL SANO 10
Sano was doomed by his slow pace as he hit just 10 bombs in the championship round. It was surprising that he didn’t try to quicken up his round after watching Judge’s first two showings. He may have fell victim to his BP pitcher, Fernando Tatis, who never found a consistent spot for Sano to get going all night. When Judge came up it took him only half the clock and 16 swings for Aaron Judge to walk off with the 2017 derby championship. Judge finished the night with 47 total homers. Stanton hit a record 61 homeruns to win last year’s derby and some would wonder what Judge would have put up if he used the full time in each round.
HOME RUN TOTALS
Aaron Judge 47 (513)
Miguel Sano 32 (491)
Cody Bellinger 27 (446)
Gary Sanchez 27 (485)
Justin Bour 22 (464)
Giancarlo Stanton 16 (496)
Charlie Blackmon 14 (434)
Mike Moustakaus 10 (442)