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Judge Tops Sano In Home Run Derby Finals

The discussion heading into the Home Run Derby was all about Aaron Judge and defending-champion Giancarlo Stanton. In the end, Aaron Judge was the champion, but he had to beat Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano.

Sano was the first Twins player to reach the finals since Justin Morneau won the Home Run Derby nearly a decade ago.

Since going to the new format two years ago, the excitement of the home run derby has taken off. Each round, hitters have four minutes to hit as many home runs as they can. They also get one time out in each round, and two in the finals. If they hit one ball 440 feet or more, they earn a 30 second bonus. It becomes quite entertaining.
Image courtesy of Peter Aiken, USA Today
Sano was the #5 seed, so in the first round, he took on Royals third baseman Mike Moustakus. Sano went first and hit 11 home runs. "Moose" followed. He hit his tenth home run with just under a minute to go, but was unable to hit another.

In the second round, Sano topped fellow 2009 international signing from the Dominican Republic Gary Sanchez. Sanchez surprised everyone by beating hometown guy Giancarlo Stanton.

Judge had a tougher road to the second round than likely anticipated. Marlins first baseman Justin Bour put on a show, hitting 22 homers in the first round as the 7th seed. Judge, however, nearly hit that number before getting his 30-second bonus for one of his many 440+ foot homers.

In the second round, Judge had little trouble ending the night for Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger.

In the final round, it was clear that Miguel Sano was very tired. It was also clear that his pitcher, former big leaguer Fernando Tatis, was also tiring. Sano had a lot of takes, and had to try to go the other way often due to poor pitches. However, he ended the final round with 10 home runs, a very strong showing.

Judge was last to hit. He hit his 11th home runs with 2:00 remaining.

It was an incredible showing for Judge, and a remarkable show by Sano as well. Call it a coming out for Sano, if you like. Twins fans (myself included) are shocked that Sano seems to be little known nationally, but if that was the case, that has changed. Of course, he was the leader in the fan vote right up until the final tally, so fans know Sano. Now they just know him a little better.

What were your thoughts on the performance of Sano, and the home run derby in general?

Hey, if nothing else, Sano had the prettiest, most electrifying home run of the night...


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24 Comments

Anyone else think Jamie Foxx looks a little like Byron Buxton?
I can see the resemblance.
It was cool to have Sano make the finals and represent the Twins. The timed format is nice, though the straight bracket leads to situations where Bohr was eliminated after hitting 22 HR. It's a showcase, and I thought Sano represented the team well. Hope all 3 Twins have a chance to play tomorrow!
    • glunn and MN_ExPat like this
His pitcher wasn't giving him very good pitches even in the first round. Seemed to get worse each round
    • glunn, h2oface, Danchat and 4 others like this
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Taildragger8791
Jul 10 2017 09:40 PM
Minor correction, it's two home runs of 440 ft to get the bonus :30. I wish Sano had gotten better pitches to swing at because I think he'd have put on a ridiculous show, but Judge is just a freak. I'm sure we'll get to see him try again next year!
    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN and bluechipper like this

Get in shape, Miguel! You can beat Judge next year!!

    • 70charger and h2oface like this
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ScooterDance
Jul 10 2017 10:08 PM

Yeah Sano was exhausted, despite him swinging at the least % of pitches. Was disappointed in that regard. I think he'd have a good shot at winning one of these if he could put more swings in. In two rounds he had less HR than Bour did in one. And ultimately got favorable draws to get there. 

But it was still nice to see him represent well. *cough* Dozier *cough*

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twinsnorth49
Jul 10 2017 11:44 PM
Can you call in a relief pitcher in the HR derby? He should have, holy hell, when's the last time that dude threw BP?!
    • h2oface, Danchat and Dr. Evil like this

Fernando Tatis was horrible. The pace strategy didn't help either. He really got lucky getting through the first round. I thought he might have more gas when he was able to quit with about a minute left in the second round. My favorite homer was Sano finally deciding he just had to swing at anything and golfing that low and outside pitch out! Aaron Judge is a monster.

 

Is there a list of all the homer distances for each player and each homer somewhere? I can't find it if there is, but it would seem there would be one.....

 

    • Danchat and Dr. Evil like this

Judge used the whole field more easily than anyone I've ever seen in the homerun derby.  Really impressive.

 

And honestly, I'm glad Sano wasn't being too violent or over-exerting himself, and still managed to reach the finals.

    • 70charger and Danchat like this
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Tommygun921
Jul 11 2017 05:47 AM
Judge probably could've beat Sano's derby total in the finals alone. Guy is insane. No one I've ever seen in the derbys has hit opposite field homers hardly at all let alone with ease.

Sano just showed us how the Twins can reach the World Series this year. 

 

Win a non eventful matchup against a Moustakas type team in round one.

 

Face and beat a Sanchez type team like that just upset the mighty Stanton(Astros) type team. 

 

And... And...  Sano did it without decent pitching. 

 

See Everyone... Anything is possible in Baseball!!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    • ashburyjohn, glunn, Blake and 12 others like this

Next year, please have Judge hit first in a round so we can see ust how many bombs this guy could hit in a full 4:30. 

 

He sure made it look easy.

 

519'? 

    • Danchat likes this

I keep trying, but I'm just not a fan of the Derby. I even went in person at Target Field. It's just so repetitive.

 

That said, I'm glad (and not surprised) to see Sano have a big showing.

 

Is there a list of all the homer distances for each player and each homer somewhere? I can't find it if there is, but it would seem there would be one.....

 

I believe this is what you're looking for: https://baseballsava...lb.com/hr_derby

    • ashburyjohn, glunn, Riverbrian and 2 others like this
Great to see Sano in the finals. He definitely ran out of gas. If he learned anything for next year, he needs to get a new pitcher. That guy throwing to him was terrible. Sano had to take so many pitches which took valuable time. I'm sure Sano was frustrated.
    • glunn likes this
The seedings of the thing were absurd. Stanton and Judge were rightfully 1 and 2. However, putting Moustakas and especially Bellinger ahead of Sano was flat out ridiculous.

Clearly a popularity contest, which is fine. But, why call it "seeding." You're not "seeding," you're trying to cherry pick semi-final and final match-ups (e.g., they really wanted Bellinger in the semis).

Judge is unreal. The ease with which he hits homeruns is pretty amazing. Sano gave one of the best HR Derby performances ever, IMO, and was totally overshadowed.
    • glunn likes this

The seedings of the thing were absurd. Stanton and Judge were rightfully 1 and 2. However, putting Moustakas and especially Bellinger ahead of Sano was flat out ridiculous.

Clearly a popularity contest, which is fine. But, why call it "seeding." You're not "seeding," you're trying to cherry pick semi-final and final match-ups (e.g., they really wanted Bellinger in the semis).

Judge is unreal. The ease with which he hits homeruns is pretty amazing. Sano gave one of the best HR Derby performances ever, IMO, and was totally overshadowed.


It was seeded, after Stanton, returning champ, by the number of home runs hit this year, Bellinger has hit 25 bombs this year compared to Sano's 21. They weren't cherry picked. Sano did great, but he was really lucky to have gone the route he went. Any of the other opening round matchups and Sano would have been one and done. His pitcher was bad, it would be nice to see all of the hitters have to use the same pitcher?
    • glunn, h2oface and jimmer like this

I wonder if Stanton had beaten Sanchez in the first round, would they have penalized or disqualified him for constantly breaking the rule stating that you can't throw the next pitch until the previous hit has landed.. 

 

He broke that rule so many times that the announcers even commented on it.

    • glunn likes this

 

I wonder if Stanton had beaten Sanchez in the first round, would they have penalized or disqualified him for constantly breaking the rule stating that you can't throw the next pitch until the previous hit has landed.. 

 

He broke that rule so many times that the announcers even commented on it.

 

Yeah, then TWO umpires even moved closer behind the plate and into the TV shot to try and slow him down and he still threw early after that...

 

I believe this is what you're looking for: https://baseballsava...lb.com/hr_derby

 

Thank You! That is awesome. What a great graphic presentation! Wow!

    • Steve Lein and Riverbrian like this

 

I wonder if Stanton had beaten Sanchez in the first round, would they have penalized or disqualified him for constantly breaking the rule stating that you can't throw the next pitch until the previous hit has landed.. 

 

He broke that rule so many times that the announcers even commented on it.

 

Agreed. But a dumb rule. It should be changed. Go as fast as you want. If is is safety one is concerned about, then get all the silly catchers off the field. Scattered balls would look cool, too. The catchers just get in the way of the whole thing. 

While safety is certainly a factor, what with all those children running around in the outfield, they also want people to watch the majestic home runs. Throwing up pitch after pitch sounds OK, but would actually detract something from the viewing audience, especially the television audience.

And we mustn't have that!

 

On another note, I liked this format but no one hit more home runs than Bour in a single round except Judge, and he only did it once (to beat Bour). Bour put on quite a show. Same number of HR in his one round as Sano had in his first two rounds combined.

Maybe next year Sano can get Gibson to throw to him??😀
    • USAFChief and snepp like this

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