Summer is in the air. Baseball has finally arrived in July. This is the time of year that you hear about potential All-Star's, snub's, feel good stories, and oh yeah:
The Home Run Derby.
In this 8 article series, we're going to construct the ultimate home run derby. Now obviously this is going be for fantasy purpose's because we all know that about 80 percent of the people listed probably don't play anymore. But this is all in fun and debate.
Joke's aside, we're going to look back at the last 25 year's of prolific hitter's and home run hitter's at each position. We will then select 6 of those player's and then select one for that position. At the end of the series, we will have a full blown debate as to who would take the cake. Because why not, right?
Let's get the ball rolling with the first baseman in no particular order:
1. Albert Pujols - This one is obviously a given. Since arriving on the scene in St. Louis, he has consistently been a top home run hitter. He has one of the beautiful swing's baseball has ever seen. It's a beautiful, compact, and nonviolent swing that has power to all side's of the field. Always fun to watch him at the plate.
2. Jeff Bagwell - A lot of people seemed to have forgotten about Bags. But throughout his Astros career, he was a perennial 30 to 40 home run 100 RBI threat. Who could forget about low batting stance and then absolutely driving the ball deep to left field? An underrated first baseman in my eyes.
3. Mike Napoli - Now I know what you're thinking, but hear me out. Have you ever seen Napoli hit a home run that just hardly made it over the fence? I didn't think so. Every homerun he hit's is an absolute mammoth blast and chick's dig the long ball. I think he would be a fun guy to watch in a derby.
4.Jim Thome - A very long and productive career, Thome hit over 20 home run's 16 time's in his career. The point of the bat at the pitcher was intimidating enough, but he consistently put a hurting on most pitcher's. With the ability to hit to all fields, he would he an interesting and fun one to watch.
5. Mark McGwire - Juice aside, he was an interesting one to watch. Joke's aside, you knew when he came to the plate, most pitcher's were going to be careful. He was either going to strike out or he was going to hit a 600 foot home run over a 350 left field fence. He had the ability to put on a show. How could we forget about the 70 homerun season? (yes, I know. Juice again)
6. David Ortiz - Yes, he's more of a designated hitter. But if he were to play in the National League, he'd be a full time first baseman. While his smile is contagious, his bat is violent. Sending shot after shot over the fence. He's been in couple of derbies, even winning one of his own. Watching him this time of year is always fun.
This selection is a difficult one as you know all the above would hold there own. Obviously Big Papi would put on a show. I'd love to see Napoli or Bagwell do something crazy as well.
My verdict - David Ortiz
Prince Fielder Cecil Fielder Mo Vaughn Rafael Palmero Fred McGriff Chris Davis