The 2021 MLB All-Star Game was recently moved out of Atlanta following the passage of a controversial law from Georgia, which critics say restricts voting rights in the state. Instead, the annual Midsummer Classic is played at Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies.
It is well known that Coors Field is one of the most hitter-friendly ball parks in Major League Baseball. Coors Field is 5,200 feet above sea level, by far the tallest ballpark in all of Major League Baseball. The next nearest park is Chase Field in Phoenix, which is 1,100 feet above sea level.
Over the last five seasons, Coors Field has ranked near the top of the league in terms of home runs:
- 2020 – 1,147 home runs per. Match (11th highest) – 60-game regular season
- 2019 – 1,266 home runs per match (3rd highest)
- 2018 – 1,280 home races per. Match (2nd highest)
- 2017 – 1,195 home runs per. Match (5th highest)
- 2016 – 1,165 home runs per. Match (3rd highest)
“Hitters collectively put together .307 / .370 / .526 at Coors Field this season,” wrote Matt Snyder of CBS Sport in July 2019. “The league compensation line is .252 / .322 / .431, so we’re looking at a difference at 55 slag average points, 48 percent at base and ridiculous 95 points with slugging. “
It is clear to see that players can be very successful when it comes to hitting Coors Field in any capacity. With players lobbing balls in the middle of the strike zone, the results could really get insane for the 2021 Home Run Derby.
Coors Field has not hosted the Home Run Derby since 1998, and it was certainly a spectacle. Seattle Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr. ended up winning the event as he hit 19 home runs to take the crown.
Griffey Jr. defeated as Jim Thome (Cleveland), Rafael Palmeiro (Baltimore Orioles), Vinny Castilla (Colorado Rockies) and Mark McGwire (St. Louis Cardinals) just to name a few.
Given the type of star power we could in the 2021 Home Run Derby, there could be even more long balls. Here are 10 players we would like to see participate in the 2021 Home Run Derby at Coors Field.
Is there a player who is more convincing throughout MLB than Shohei Ohtani? Not in my eyes. The Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher / designated hitter can get the job done on the mound and by the platter. In fact, in Sunday’s game against the Chicago White Sox, Ohtani wiped out a baseball at the very first pitch he saw from Dylan Cease. Ohtani has been hampered by injuries in the first three seasons of the major leagues, but his talent is out of this world. If Ohtani continues to swing the bat at this speed, there is no doubt he should shoot bombs at Coors Field in July.
Mike Trout has already established himself as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. For a power hitter like Trout, it’s surprising that the Angels outfielder has never participated in the Home Run Derby. However, this would be a good time for Trout to compete in his first Home Run Derby, even if it was his only one. Watching teammates like Ohtani and Trout go head-to-head in a long-ball match would be a showdown for ages.
You cannot have a Home Run Derby without the reigning derby champion. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic forced MLB to have a shortened 60-game regular season, and the All-Star Game festivities were canceled. Alonso was the last winner of the event back in 2019 in his rookie season. The New York Met’s first baseman belted out 23 home runs in the final round to fight Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of only one homer (23-22) at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Since Alonso broke into the big ones in 2019, she has launched 70 home runs in less than two full seasons, so the Mets star must continue to be a matchmaker.
Ronald Acuna Jr.
Ronald Acuna Jr. has quickly come on the field as one of the most exciting young players in baseball. The Atlanta Braves outfielder already has a Home Run derby under his bet after competing in the 2019 installment. Acuna then defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell in the opening round before falling to Alonso by a narrow 20-19 margin. The Braves star is truly one of the most dangerous power hitters in the game and he must continue to be a match in the Home Run Derby.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr. is completely electric at the plate, but has not yet competed in the Home Run Derby. It is certainly worth noting that the San Diego Padres shortstop is currently out with a shoulder injury. It is unclear how long Tatis will be out of the lineup. But if Tatis is healthy enough to compete when July rolls around, the talented young star must be involved in the Home Run Derby.
The New York Yankees have historically had a large number of representatives who have competed in the Home Run Derby. Back in 2017, Yankees saw outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez in the derby field in Miami. It’s a coin toss for whether fans want to see referee or teammate Giancarlo Stanton in the Home Run Derby, but I will be the referee as he is the younger player. The referee has struggled with injuries throughout his career so far, but has still managed to mix 121 home runs in parts of six seasons. His long balls will definitely rise into the Coors Field atmosphere if he participates in the 2021 Home Run Derby.
This would throw a little salt in the wound for Rockies fans. After all, the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado traded to St. Louis. The Louis Cardinals in this last offseason and seeing him return to compete in the Home Run Derby would be a tough pill to swallow. Arenado launched 235 home runs in eight seasons with the Rockies, and a large portion of them came within the friendly framework of Coors Fields. Arenado, who is participating in the 2021 Home Run Derby, would certainly be a fun story to have and he could be a dark horse to win.
Another former homemade derby champion to be involved in tranche 2021. Philadelphia Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper won the event in 2018 when he was a member of the Washington Nationals. Harper ended up narrowly defeating future teammate Rhys Hoskins in the semifinals and beating Kyle Schwarber in the final in Washington DC. The Phillies slugger is one of the most dangerous power-hungry in the game and watching him start baseball at Coors Field would be a ton of fun.
Like the Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers traditionally have a representative in the Home Run Derby. Los Angeles Dodgers star slugger Cody Bellinger participated in the 2017 Home Run Derby and lost by a home run to Aaron Judge in the semifinals. Bellinger has certainly had an ability to hit the clutch’s home run in big moments, including the post season 2020. Bellinger’s turn would be beautiful to watch at Coors Field.
Last and certainly not least, the New York Mets’ valued off-season acquisition Francisco Lindor. Lindor may not be the first player that many people think of when it comes to power hitters. However, Lindor has beaten 138 home runs throughout his career and topped the 30-home plateau on three different occasions during his in Cleveland. Lindor has certainly made a sweet turn that the Mets will enjoy having in their lineup for the next 10 seasons.