After winning the 2013 Home Run Derby, Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes said that he wasn’t sure if Yasiel Puig would be able to succeed in a contest like the Derby. He may have been right.
Hitting .309 with 12 homers and 52 RBIs in 90 games in 2014, the 23-year-old Cuban was named to his first NL All-Star team, and was also chosen by Troy Tulowitski to take part in the 2014 Derby.
Whether it was nerves or over-anxiousness or whatever it was, Puig hit exactly zero home runs in the 2014 event, finishing dead last in the event. He quickly recorded seven outs and was eliminated barely after ESPN commentators Chris Berman and John Kruk had finished introducing him to the TV audience.
Puig burst onto the scene in 2013, as his insertion into the Dodgers lineup coincided with an incredible run that saw the Dodgers go from last to first in the National League West. He finished the season hitting .319 with 19 homers and 42 RBIs in 104 games, as the Dodgers made it to the NLCS, where they fell in six games to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista finished the first round in first overall with 10 homers, while Cespedes and Baltimore’s Adam Jones also qualified for the American League’s second round. Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton grabbed the No. 1 seed on the NL side by hitting six; Tulowitski and Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier took the No. 2 and No. 3 NL spots, respectively
Cespedes ended the night with his second straight Derby title after beating Frazier 9-1 in the finals.Jeff Pini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JeffPini