As I predicted on my podcast, The Bill Pollock Show, Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees would win the Home Run Derby, but the most exciting round came from the first two hitters…Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins and Mike Moustakas of the Royals.
In the bracket format, Moose was the No. 4 seed, and up against Sano (No. 5). The Twins third baseman hit 11 homers as the first batter of the night and did it with earning an extra 30 seconds for hitting two homers longer than 440 feet. Moustakas started slow but got into a groove and got to 10…then hit a wall. Unable to launch deep homers, Moose had just four minutes and couldn’t get the tying homer to go in the final 50 seconds of his round. He last swing sent a low line drive that fell just short of the right-field wall.
Despite getting booted after the first round, Moustakas enjoyed himself.
“That was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done,” Moustakas said “Adrenaline was building, everything, the whole time. A lot of fun. [It was] cool to be out there, cool to hear the fans.”
For now, Moose goes down as the most successful Royals’ slugger in HR Derby history. Bo Jackson hit only one homer in the 1989 Derby in Anaheim and Danny Tartabull hit two in the ’91 Derby in Toronto.