Yoenis Cespedes rules in HR Derby as Robinson Cano, David Wright miss first cut
There was no hometown advantage in the Home Run Derby on Monday night. Neither David Wright nor Robinson Cano made it out of the first round at a jam-packed Citi Field.
But at least captain Cano's final pick, Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, won the event by outhomering Washington's Bryce Harper in the final round, 9-8.
Wright, the Mets' third baseman and captain of the NL Derby squad, hit five home runs as the eighth and final hitter to compete in the first round.
He went into his turn needing at least seven to force a swing-off with his Norfolk, Va.-area buddy, Michael Cuddyer. But Wright came up two short.
"I didn't do nearly as well as I would have liked to," Wright said. "But I didn't embarrass myself, either."
At least he did better than Cano, the Yankees' second baseman and captain of the AL team. Cano, the 2011 Derby champ, managed only four home runs batting against his father, Jose. That was the lowest first-round total, which delighted Mets fans in the crowd who booed Cano.
Cano, who went homerless last year in Kansas City while being booed for not selecting hometown favorite Billy Butler, broke his bat on his last swing Monday night and walked off holding the handle.
"At least I hit four this time," Cano said. "But that was a great pick -- Cespedes."
Cespedes was the star of the night. He had 17 first-round blasts -- several into the third deck in left -- and finished with a total of 32.
His winning homer was off the back wall in centerfield, behind the Mets' famed Home Run Apple. It was estimated to have traveled 455 feet. He also broke the window of a truck parked near the Apple.
Cespedes, a Cuban import who is not an All-Star this year, was picked by Cano only after a few other players turned down the invitation.
"I asked the guys, and they weren't available," Cano said. "And I said, 'Let me choose somebody that's not an All-Star so he can get an opportunity to be here.' "
Said Cespedes: "I feel very grateful to the people -- Robinson Cano -- who asked me to come here."
Cespedes was joined in the second round by major-league home run leader Chris Davis of the Orioles, who has hit 37, plus Harper and Cuddyer.
Pedro Alvarez and Prince Fielder, last year's champ, were eliminated after one round along with Wright and Cano.
Wright initially picked Cuddyer and didn't pick Pirates third baseman Alvarez, who ended the first half with 24 homers to Cuddyer's 16.
Wright was booed all last weekend in Pittsburgh even though Alvarez was added to the team as an injury replacement for Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez. But all Wright felt Monday night was love from Mets fans when he was introduced.
"I think the thing I'm going to take away from tonight was the ovation from the fans," Wright told Newsday. "That was really, really special. I'm very appreciative. It was awesome.
"I mean, it was deafening. I didn't know when to step forward and wave my hand because I couldn't hear Chris Berman talking over the crowd. It was really, really one of those moments where you look around and you're like, 'Wow.' "