For those who had not yet witnessed the power of Yoenis Cespedes, they saw it firsthand on their TV sets or at the stadium, as the Oakland Athletics outfielder won the 2013 Home Run Derby with an impressive performance at Citi Field in New York on Monday night.
Cespedes put on an absolute show in the first round, crushing 17 home runs, the third most ever in a single round of the Home Run Derby. Twelve of his homers traveled 400 feet or more. Fans were “oohing and aahing” at every magnificent blast, with several homers landing in the third deck at Citi Field.
He didn’t even have to hit in the second round, as his 17 homers were good enough to advance to the finals. But he stepped up anyway, and smacked six balls into the stands.
The final around pitted Cespedes against another young sensation, Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper. Harper was first up, and with his dad pitching to him, recorded eight homers.
So Cespedes needed nine homers, and that was a piece of cake for the Cuban superstar in the making. He only needed five outs to crush nine balls out of Citi Field, with the winning shot traveling 455 feet.
He becomes the first A’s player to win the Home Run Derby since Mark McGwire won it in 1992 .
Cespedes is hitting .225 with 15 home runs and 43 RBI this season, a down year compared his rookie campaign. Perhaps this will be the spark that gets him on a roll when the second half begins.