Yoenis Cespedes entered the 2013 Home Run Derby, which he won, on a 71 at-bat home run drought, which was the longest entering the event for any of the participants. Cespedes entered the 2014 Home Run Derby, which he also won, homerless in his last 84 at-bats, the longest current home run drought for any of the participants in this year’s Derby and the third-longest of his major-league career. Cespedes went 95 at-bats without a homer in 2013 and 88 homerless at-bats in 2012.
Seven of the last eight Home Run Derby winners have come from an American League team: Vladimir Guerrero in 2007 (Angels), Justin Morneau in 2008 (Twins), David Ortiz in 2010 (Red Sox), Robinson Cano in 2011 (Yankees), Prince Fielder in 2012 (Tigers) and Yoenis Cespedes in 2013 and 2014 (A’s). The exception came in 2009 when the Brewers’ Prince Fielder won it.
Jose Bautista‘s appearance in the Home Run Derby marked the 14th time the Blue Jays have been represented in the event, the most for any major-league team. The Blue Jays who’ve participated are Jesse Barfield (1986), George Bell (1987), Joe Carter (1991, 1992, 1996), Shawn Green (1999), Carlos Delgado (2000, 2003), Troy Glaus (2006), Alex Rios (2007), Vernon Wells (2010), and Jose Bautista (2011, 2012, 2014). None of the Blue Jays won the event!
Mike Trout did not participate in the 2014 Home Run Derby, in part, because his manager, Mike Scioscia, advised him not to. Trout said, “Yeah, you’ve always got to respect your manager, and do what’s right for you and the team, and your body, for sure.” Four Angels participated in the Home Run Derby since Mike Scioscia became manager of the team in 1999. Two of those four players had a drastic decrease in their home run rate after the All-Star break when compared to their home run rate before the break. Garrett Anderson, who won the 2003 Home Run Derby, averaged one home run for every 16.8 at-bats before the All-Star break and one home run every 38.3 at-bats after the break. Mark Trumbo participated in the 2012 Derby. Trumbo’s home run rate before the break was one homer for every 13.1 at-bats, compared to one home run for every 25.6 at-bats after the event.