Fans in for a show as Stanton descends on Derby
Tape-measure shots the norm, even when Marlins slugger doesn't 'try too much'
NEW YORK -- No ballpark, they say, can hold back Giancarlo Stanton. Target Field is about to find out where it stands.
On Monday night, Stanton will be one of the most anticipated participants in the Gillette Home Run Derby. The Miami slugger will represent the National League on captain Troy Tulowitzki's squad.
Stanton, who entered Sunday tied with Tulowitzki for the NL lead in homers with 21, will put his tremendous strength to the test in his first big league Home Run Derby.
Home Run Derby participants
|RF||Jose Bautista, TOR (Captain)|
|3B||Josh Donaldson, OAK|
|2B||Brian Dozier, MIN|
|CF||Adam Jones, BAL|
|LF||Yoenis Cespedes, OAK*||National League|
|SS||Troy Tulowitzki, COL (Captain)|
|3B||Todd Frazier, CIN|
|1B||Justin Morneau, COL|
|RF||Yasiel Puig, LAD|
|RF||Giancarlo Stanton, MIA|
If his routine batting practices are any indication, fans can get ready for a show. Stanton is motivated and ready. And he wants to win.
"It's competition, man," the 24-year-old said. "If I wanted to stand there and look pretty, I'd take selfies all day and post them up."
According to ESPN's Hit Tracker, Stanton averages an MLB-best 423.8 feet per home run. The average speed off the bat per homer is a whopping 109.5 mph.
If Stanton gets locked in, he should be able to shred Target Field, with its dimensions of 339 feet in left field, 377 feet in left-center, 404 feet to dead center, 367 feet to right-center and 328 feet to right.
"Just be relaxed is the biggest thing," Stanton said. "If you tense up and try too hard, there's times I hit 15, 20 in like 25 swings, and I wasn't trying at all. And there's times when I let loose and hit three into the turtle [cage used in batting practice]. You just have to not try too much. You're going to have the crowd and everything. Just remember what got you there."
To prepare for Monday, Stanton did a simulated Derby at Citi Field.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who routinely throws BP, will throw to Stanton at the Derby.
"He likes the ball up a little bit, and out over the middle," Redmond said. "A lot of home run guys like it kind of middle in. He likes it out over the plate and try to use the big part of the ballpark. Let him get extension."
In Friday's dress rehearsal, Stanton did what he normally does. He made Citi Field, not necessarily a home run paradise, look small.
"I know distance-wise, his distance is dialed in," Redmond said.
The slugger walloped a couple in the second deck and placed one in the third deck in left field.
"I feel like I can't pull the ball the whole time," Stanton said. "I'll probably have to stay in the biggest part of the field, which you'd think is tougher, but it helps me stay back and get more solid contact. We'll see."
The crowd will be bracing for the tape-measure shots. Stanton's season long is 484 feet, which is second to Mike Trout's 489.
To Stanton, simply clearing the fences in the goal.
"If it goes over, it goes over, 120 feet past, or one foot," Stanton said. "It's the same amount of points."