Several of Major League Baseball’s heavy hitters were transformed into indiscriminate memorabilia dealers Monday night, and Yoenis Cespedes made the biggest hit among fans attending the major league home run derby at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y.
The Oakland Athletics left fielder hit a total of 32 home runs, including nine in the final round, to beat Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper and win the 2013 MLB home run derby.
Harper’s eight-dinger effort in the final round was an impressive showing, but Cespedes was hitting on a different level all night. The 27-year-old Cuban star hit 17 homers in the first round and his longest blast on the night measured in at 456 feet. His final home run to win it went 455 feet to straight away center field.
Immediately after hitting the winning home run, Cespedes flipped his bat and watched the ball sail over the center field wall as he made his way toward his American League teammates to celebrate. The American League has won the last four home run derbys.
Harper, whose dad, Ron, was pitching to him, finished with a total of 24 home runs.
Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, the defending derby champion, hit five home runs and was eliminated after the first round. Five home runs was enough to get him into the second round last year.
Current major league home run leader Chris Davis managed to get into the second round, hitting a total of 12 homers -- eight of which came in the first round. The Baltimore Orioles first baseman came in as the favorite after hitting 37 home runs in the first half of the season, putting him on pace for a season total of 62.
Colorado Rockies right fielder Michael Cuddyer -- perhaps the biggest underdog in the derby -- hit a total of 15 home runs for the third-highest total on the night.
In addition to Fielder, Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez also failed to make the second-round cut, finishing with six home runs.
David Wright, the New York Mets third baseman and National League team captain, only managed five homers despite having the hometown support behind him. New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano hit a derby-low four dingers. Cano won the event in 2011 with a total of 32 home runs.