The Home Run Derby Winner Will Be …
We are at the halfway point in the MLB season (even though every team has played more than half of their games), which unfortunately means we will be without "real" games for the next four days, by far the longest break of the daunting MLB season. That said, there is no reason for the research to stop! Here is a statistical look at the participants in tonight's home run derby and my pick to win based on first half power metrics.
My formula is simple: award points based on rank in four power metrics (ISO, Hard%, HR/FB, and FB%. The contestant with the highest score in a category receives eight points, second place gets seven, and so on. Below are the results and the corresponding pick for each matchup.
Albert Pujols (seed: 1) vs Kris Bryant (8) and Joc Pederson (4) vs Manny Machado (5)
Pujols outscores Bryant 23-13 and advances
Pederson outscores Machado 26-11 and advances
Pederson outscores Pujols 26-23 and represents this half of the bracket in the final.
Josh Donaldson (seed: 3) vs Anthony Rizzo (6) and Todd Frazier (2) vs Prince Fielder (7)
Donaldson outscores Rizzo 18-15 and advances
Frazier outscores Fielder 28-9 and advances
Frazier outscore Donaldson 28-18 and represents this half of the bracket in the final.
I'll admit it: I don't believe Frazier is the best power hitter in this group. Hell, I'd be hard pressed to even put him in the top half. But this isn't a career home run derby or a measure of future success: this is a 2015 event meant to entertain tonight. He's having the best power season and playing in front of his home crowd also doesn't hurt his chances. These are all obviously great hitters and with a new timed format, anything can happen, but based on advanced metrics, Frazier should enter this contest as the betting favorite.
For what it's worth, here are how the participants ranked in the four measured categories.
ISO Ranks: Frazier, Pujols, Joc, Rizzo, Donaldson, Machado, Bryant, Fielder
Hard%: Joc, Frazier, Donaldson, Fielder, Bryant, Pujols, Rizzo, Machado
HR/FB: Joc, Pujols, Donaldson, Frazier, Machado, Rizzo, Fielder, Bryant
FB%: Frazier, Bryant, Pujols, Rizzo, Joc, Machado, Donaldson, Fielder
Photo via Getty
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