Minnesota Twins: Ranking Twins Home Run Derby Performances
No. 5: Brian Dozier, Target Field, 2014
Brian Dozier did not have an ideal Home Run Derby on home turf. He only hit two home runs in the one round he participated in, but he ranks ahead of Mauer because of one big reason: the American League side was stacked.
The American League side of the contest included two-time champion Yoenis Cespedes, Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson. While those names are enough to get you excited, the reason the AL was so stacked was because of the lack of power on the NL side. Dozier had the same amount of home runs as two guys who went into a swing off to advance, Justin Morneau and Troy Tulowitzki.
If Dozier was on the NL side he could have advanced to the next round. The AL was just better. Dozier was in the middle of a 23 home run campaign. He was just starting his reign as the superior Twins slugger. This Derby wasn’t the best performance, but because he was on the American League side of the contest his performance looks worse than it actually was.
No. 4: Torii Hunter, Miller Park, 2002
Torii Hunter was known for his amazing catches and exciting style of play. He also had power in his bat, which led to his participation in the 2002 Home Run Derby in Milwaukee. Hunter went up against one of the toughest fields the contest has ever seen. He hit three home runs, more than three other participants including Barry Bonds.
The field was incredible during the 2002 Derby. There was Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Lance Berkman. Some of the most feared sluggers of the era. An era where home run totals looked like you were playing MVP Baseball on the Nintendo Game Cube.
Hunter was in the middle of a season where he hit 29 home runs. He was a well-deserving candidate. With the competition he was up against, Hunter did pretty well. He out-slugged two of the best hitters of the era. That is hard to do. The All-Star Game may have been a dud that year, but the Home Run Derby wasn’t.