Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins may not have been named an All-Star, but he will leave San Diego as the talk of the week after blasting a record-setting 61 home runs to win the 2016 MLB Home Run Derby.
Stanton put on quite the exhibition in the All-Star eve event. As if the record-setting home run total was not impressive enough already, the distance the power-hitter was measuring was something never before seen in this competition. In all, Stanton covered 27,190 feet (5.1 miles), which comes out to an average distance of 445.7 feet per home run. Yes, this is just a Home Run Derby and not a demonstration of raw power against major league pitching, but still, this was a flat-out impressive showing from the Marlins outfielder.
— Daren Willman (@darenw) July 12, 2016
Stanton obliterated the previous Home Run Derby record set by Bobby Abreu of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2005. Stanton matched that total through two rounds of the derby. It is worth mentioning, however, the format of the derby has changed between Abreu’s surprising derby win and now. Abreu only had 10 outs per round to work with, where Stanton had as many swings as he could fit into a time limit. Home Run Derby purists, if such a type exist, will hang on to that for an undetermined amount of time and ask for an asterisk to be placed by Stanton’s number. You can go ahead and place an asterisk there if you’d like. Stanton will just club that one to the moon.
For everyone who thought Giancarlo Stanton would hit 60 HR some day, guess what? He just hit 61 in ONE day. Wow https://t.co/PySsaiccyq
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 12, 2016
Stanton outlasted last year’s Home Run Derby champion, Todd Frazier of the Chicago White Sox (he won the derby in Cincinnati as a member of the Reds last summer). Frazier was impressive as well, but nobody was a match for Stanton on this evening. Ken Griffey Jr. in ‘Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball’ thought Stanton was unbeatable Monday night in San Diego.
Stanton was not named to the National League All-Star team after playing through a rough first half of the season. Hitting just .233 with 20 home runs and 107 strikeouts through the first 76 games of the season, Stanton opted to accept an invitation to the Home Run Derby anyway, and he made the most of his coast-to-coast trip. It was worth it.
Stanton is the second straight National League player to win the Home Run Derby. An American League player had won the derby each of the previous five seasons. Stanton is also the second player from an expansion team since 1993 to win the derby. Luis Gonzalez of the Arizona Diamondbacks won the derby in 2001 in Seattle.