clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A Red Sox fan’s rooting guide for the Home Run Derby

New, 9 comments

The pros and cons of rooting for everyone participating in Monday’s event.

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

It is a very busy few days for baseball, and here at OTM most of our energy at the moment is focused on the draft. But pretty soon after that comes to a close, another big event is taking place in the Home Run Derby. A lot of people don’t really enjoy this event, and different strokes for different folks and all that, but it is one of my favorite baseball things each and every year. I especially love the new format with a bracket and also moving from an outs-based format to a time-based one.

This year, there are eight players on the bracket, and each of them have different reasons why they are going to be intriguing parts of the roster. Despite my pleas, Rafael Devers is not one of the participants, and in fact no Red Sox players will be taking part, which means we need to find someone else to root for. With that in mind, here are some quick pros and cons as to why you should or should not root for all eight participants. We’ll order these in the same order as their seed in the Derby, starting at number eight and working our way up.

Juan Soto

Pros

Soto is one of the most exciting young players in baseball, and if you like pure hitters there aren’t many in the game more enjoyable to watch. Plus, the little crotch-grab move he does between pitches sometimes is one of the best quirks in all of baseball.

Cons

He’s not really a pure home run hitter like you would want to see in this event. That’s not to say he won’t do well, but rather that he might not hit the moonshot home runs that make the Derby fun.

Trevor Story

Pros

Story is the hometown favorite as a player of the Rockies. Even watching from home, it’s fun to root for the player the home crowd is rooting for, especially when they’re already an underdog.

Cons

He’s about to be a free agent and will likely be traded soon. The Yankees could be in the mix at both points, so we may want to get used to rooting against him.

Trey Mancini

Pros

Let’s just get this out of the way: Mancini is the guy I’m rooting for, and I won’t be alone. Mancini has come back this year after missing 2020 due to colon cancer. He’s been among the best stories in baseball this year, and he’ll be the best story at this Derby, even above the headliner.

Cons

He plays for the Orioles.

Pete Alonso

Pros

He’s a home run hitter’s home run hitter. He’ll hit moonshot, and really that’s what this event is all about. Plus, he’s an entertaining personality, which is the other part of this event we care about.

Cons

He’s already won. Let someone else have a chance. Plus he plays in New York, even if it isn’t for the really bad New York team.

Salvador Perez

Pros

Perez isn’t exactly an unheralded player in baseball, but it feels like he’s known more for his intangibles than his skills. The intangibles are real, to be fair, but he’s also an awesome hitter and it will be cool to see him on this stage.

Cons

Like Soto, he's not really the kind of home run hitter you typically look to see on this stage. If you’re not a fan of hearing about intangibles, his rounds might be a little annoying to listen to as well.

Matt Olson

Pros

His name is Matt. He’s an underrated power hitter who deserves this stage to really show the world what he can do.

Cons

The A’s are always a pain in the butt for the Red Sox, so we shouldn’t root for their players.

Joey Gallo

Pros

He has the most raw power in this entire field, and is most likely to make you say “Wow” on a regular basis tonight. He’s also a potentially intriguing trade target for the Red Sox, albeit an unlikely one.

Cons

He’s pretty much the face of the three-true-outcomes style of play. So if you don’t like that, you probably don’t want him getting any more fame.

Shohei Ohtani

Pros

He’s the most unique baseball player any of us have ever seen. After this, he’ll start on the mound in the All-Star Game and also leadoff at the plate.

Cons

I really don’t know? I guess some people are sick of hearing about him, but I don’t get that. To me, the only con is he’s not Trey Mancini.