HR Derby Preview: Team Cano
Citi Field's Home Run Apple will get a workout tonight, as some of the game's preeminent power hitters aim for the fences during the 2013 All-Star Home Run Derby (8 p.m. ET on ESPN). Team Robinson Cano (including Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder) will take on Team David Wright (Pedro Alvarez, Michael Cuddyer and Bryce Harper). Here's a breakdown of dingers hit by Team Cano as you ponder which tally will be higher -- attendance at Citi Field or the number of "backbackback"s belted out by Chris Berman.
Where he hits 'em: Cano has been pull-happy in 2013, hitting 13 of his 21 homers to right field. He has also hit four shots apiece to center and left field.
Cano's HR spray chart
Hard or soft stuff? He's doing most of his damage against "soft" stuff -- breaking and off-speed pitches. Cano has hit seven homers against sliders, tying Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead. He has four HR off curveballs and three on changeups, giving him a total of 14 HR against soft pitches. Only Cabrera and Chris Davis have more homers against sliders, curves and changeups.
HR sweet spot: Despite his tendency to pull the ball, Cano has hit most of his home runs (13) on pitches thrown on the outer half of the plate. He's also loves stuff thrown at the knees, hitting 16 home runs on pitches thrown in the low half of the strike zone.
Pitch location of Cano's HR
Where he hits 'em: Cespedes just about never goes oppo (he has just one HR to right field), but he has plenty of power to right field (8 HR) and center (6 HR).
Cespedes' HR spray chart
Hard or soft stuff? Cespedes likes high-velocity stuff, hitting 11 of his homers against fastballs, cutters and splitters.
HR sweet spot: Like Cano, Cespedes hammers knee-high pitches. Twelve of his HR have come on stuff thrown to the lower half of the zone.
Pitch location of Cespedes' HR
Where he hits 'em: Everywhere. Davis has 14 homers to the pull side, 12 to center, and nine to left field. His next opposite-field shot will make him the first batter to hit double-digit homers to all fields this season, a feat that only Miggy pulled off in 2012.
Davis' HR spray chart
Hard or soft stuff? It doesn't seem to matter what pitchers throw to Davis, as he leads all hitters with 20 HR against hard pitches and is tied with Cabrera for top honors against soft stuff (15 HR).
HR sweet spot: As you might expect from a slugger with so many opposite-field and center field homers, Davis is crushing pitches thrown to the outer half of the plate. His 24 outer-half HR lead the majors -- and it's not even close. His closest competition, Raul Ibanez, has 18.
Pitch location of Davis' HR
Where he hits 'em: While Fielder has yet to go oppo this season, he has 11 homers to the pull side and five to center field.
Fielder's HR spray chart
Hard or soft stuff? He has gone deep nearly an equal amount against hard pitches (9 HR) and soft stuff (7 HR).
HR sweet spot: Unlike Cano and Cespedes, Fielder is a high-ball hitter. Prince has pounded 10 HR against pitches thrown in the upper half of the strike zone.
Pitch location of Fielder's HR