No. 1: Justin Morneau, Yankee Stadium, 2008
Remember that someday from the last slide? That time was in 2008. Many forget that Justin Morneau was the Home Run Derby champion after the incredible and inspirational performance of Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton. In fact, Morneau hit 13 less total home runs than Hamilton, but he won the round where it counted most.
Even with Hamilton’s incredible 28 home run first round, Morneau was able to outpace him and win the final round 5-3. He was the first and only Twin to become the Home Run Derby champion. The field he was up against was pretty deep, as well. Hamilton, Lance Berkman and a young Evan Longoria all participated at the last Home Run Derby at the old Yankee Stadium.
Morneau’s season in 2008 was not as good as the season before, power wise, hitting only 23 home runs. He did, however, drive in 129 runs and hit .300. The highlight of the season had to be his Derby win, and scoring the game winning run in the All-Star Game on a Michael Young sacrifice fly. It was a good All-Star experience for Morneau.
The Twins have not had the most success in the Home Run Derby, overall. They have only had one player make it out of the first round in the history of the contest. However, he did go on to win the whole thing.
Maybe we will see another Twin in the Home Run Derby in Miami. A Miguel Sano debut? A Brian Dozier return? We will just have to wait and see. If we are lucky, maybe Sano can mash a few and put a few dents in that ugly sculpture the Marlins put over the center field fence.