How will Derby contenders fare after break?
Of all the eight participants in Monday night's Home Run Derby, I have to think Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart is the most unlikely entrant. Hart was terrible in 2009, and his starting job was in serious jeopardy for this season. I mean, the Brewers didn't officially drag Jim Edmonds out of retirement because he wanted to play again, instead knowing that he was an April timeshare. That's how far Hart had fallen.
Fast forward to July, and the guy has hit 21 home runs, one off the National League lead, and he's tied with first-round fantasy pick Matt Kemp as the No. 19 hitter for the season on the ESPN Player Rater. Talk about unexpected.
Hart gets to compete in the Home Run Derby because he was deservingly named to the All-Star team, and he's one of the few honorees willing to participate in the event. Why would someone not want to compete? It's no secret we've seen quite a few Derby options putting on a show in front of a worldwide audience, and then disappointing their teams and fantasy owners with a drop in performance the final two-plus months (Bobby Abreu, David Wright, etc.). Is Hart next?
I'm sure the demands of the Home Run Derby and how it can infringe on a player's swing will get blamed for a few of these players not being able to continue their power pace, but I don't really buy it as a trend. Regardless, let's look at the eight home run hitters for Monday night and look ahead for power purposes.
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