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July 16, 2013

BP Unfiltered

The LOL-Time Home Run Derby Team

by Sam Miller

Friend of the podcast Chad Reno just emailed us:

I was wondering what the worst possible eight-man derby would look like if it only comprised past lousy participants. This would be exclusive of their actual performance in the derby, so Piazza wouldn't be on it. This would only be players that no one would really care to watch do anything, let alone try to hit home runs. Here's who I came up with:

At the time Henry Rodriguez made it, he was one of the most exciting home run hitters of the news cycle. Candy bars on the field and all that, so he's on there now only because we have the benefit of hindsight. I'd be comfortable replacing him with Michael Cuddyer, who, I'm fond of noting, has seven home runs on the road this year. (Marlon Byrd has 11.) But for now, we can go with Rodriguez. Here's how each player did after being selected as one of the premier home run hitters in the game:

Player Second Half Following Season Career, post-Derby
Virgil 7 9 17
Tettleton 6 15 192
Rodriguez 11 26 114
Lankford 14 31 117
Easley 8 20 105
Jaha 17 1 18
Choi 2 0 2
Inge 3 13 32
Average 8.5 14.4 74.6

For Cuddyer, the averages look like pretty good over/under lines. Probably take the over for next year, but otherwise abut what I expect for him.

You could really crash the stats with a few replacements: Hubie Brooks (1986) for Tettleton; Chris Sabo (1991) for Lankford; B.J. Surhoff (1999) for Rodriguez. That gets us to:

Player Second Half Following Season Career, post-Derby
Virgil 7 9 17
Brooks 0 14 94
Sabo 14 12 62
Surhoff 8 14 50
Easley 8 20 105
Jaha 17 1 18
Choi 2 0 2
Inge 3 13 32
Average 7.4 10.4 47.5

None of these players, it should be noted, were hometown picks*. They were all chosen for their dingers. Their sweet, glistening dingers.

*Choi was chosen for national representation, Dan reminds us.

Sam Miller is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Sam's other articles. You can contact Sam by clicking here

Related Content:  All-Star Game

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: I Th... (07/15)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: All-Sta... (07/15)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: Looking... (07/19)
Next Article >>
Feature Focus: Transac... (07/16)

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