imageThe Home Run Derby might be the most entertaining part of the All-Star festivities. Although the derby can be classified as nothing more than glorified batting practice, there is still something special about the event. You have some of the game's best power hitters going at it, hitting balls further than most of us could ever deem possible. One of the coolest parts of the night is seeing all the other All-Stars hanging out and watching in awe at the show these sluggers put on.These are this year's participants:National League
  • David Wright - The National League and Mets captain has 13 home runs on the season. No one knows better than Wright just how hard it can be to get the ball out of Citi Field in the gaps. Wright is not a pure power hitter, like many others in this competition, but may receive an extra bit of adrenaline from the home crowd to help carry him through a round or two. One of the cooler parts of the night is sure to be the ovation he receives when he takes his turn at bat.
  • Bryce Harper - The Nationals phenom has 13 home runs in just 58 games this year. Although some were displeased with Wright for making this selection, I thought it was a great move. He justified it by stating that the fans voted Harper into the starting lineup, meaning they must want to see him hit, and he couldn't be more right. We have been reading folk tales of his childhood home runs ever since Sports Illustrated put him on the cover at 16. I would make him my sleeper pick as he has as much power as anyone, despite his young age. The spotlight doesn't seem to faze him and I wouldn't be shocked to see him embrace such an event and put on a show.
  • Michael Cuddyer - Cuddyer, was the most questionable pick for this year's derby. Although he has 16 home runs, he is not known to be much of a home run hitter. Wright picked his childhood friend as a favor as much as anything else, which I have no problem with. If you are going to name captains for each league, things like this are bound to happen. Although Wright recalled Cuddyer beating the likes of Ryan Zimmerman and the Upton brothers and himself in a derby near their hometown, I don't foresee him putting on much of a show.
  • Pedro Alvarez - Pittsburgh's third baseman leads this national league squad with 24 home runs. He was named a replacement for the injured Carlos Gonzalez. Alvarez isn't exactly a household name himself, but is providing power in the middle of the lineup for the first place Pirates. This could be his moment to make the league aware of both the Pirates and himself for years to come.
 American League
  • Robsinson Cano - The Yankee second baseman has 21 home runs so far on the year.  Cano will once again have his father along to pitch to him, which is always a cool moment whether you like him or not. I don't expect Cano to have any problem getting the ball out of Citi Field, as he never seems to struggle with it during the Subway Series. The combination of Cano's past experience and power makes him one of the favorites tonight.
  • Prince Fielder- Detroit's first baseman is currently sitting with 16 home runs and has become a bit of a forgotten man playing alongside Miguel Cabrera.  Fielder has a swing that is just built for this event. I'm hoping to see him put a ball over the Pepsi Porch tonight.
  • Chris Davis - is leading all of baseball with 37 home runs, tying him with the AL record for home runs at the All-Star break.  Davis seems to hit another home run every time I see an Orioles highlight this year. The derby has been known to display breakout stars to the whole country and this could very well be Davis' coming out party.
  • Yoenis Cespedes - The Oakland center fielder was the last selection made by Cano after Jose Bautista turned down the offer. Cespedes is a guy that many will overlook. He is built like a bull and has a ton of power, but a right-handed hitter might have a hard time getting enough out over the left center field wall.
Citi Field is not a hitter's ballpark by any means, but I feel lefties will have an easier time getting the ball out, especially up on the Pepsi Porch. I don't think we will see any Josh Hamilton-like performances, as the stadium simply won't allow it. But with the warm weather we are expecting tonight, I do expect these guys will still put on a solid show. With the groove Chris Davis has been on, I think he will walk away the champion this year.This is something I have always wanted to attend myself, which is why I couldn't resist buying tickets to see an event that is unlikely to return to Queens for another 50 years. Although I won't be sitting in home run territory, it is sure to be one of those once in a lifetime events I can say I attended in my home ballpark.