Yoenis Cespedes says he would beat Yasiel Puig in a Home Run Derby contest
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It's a dream situation for many baseball fans: an all-Cuban slugfest between Yoenis Cespedes -- the newly-crowned Home Run Derby champion -- and one of baseball's brightest young stars in Yasiel Puig.
But alas, such a scenario would be just a dream, at least for the foreseeable future.
Cespedes put to bed any notion of an all-Cuban Home Run Derby, saying Monday night that he would beat his countryman Puig in any kind of home run-related competition.
"Not to be disrespectful against him at all," Cespedes said via a translator after winning the Home Run Derby at Citi Field, "but I know him from Cuba, and this isn't the type of competition where he would be able to excel at."
Cespedes hit 32 home runs Monday night, including 17 in the first round and nine in the finals, to win the Derby. He is batting .225 with 15 home runs this season for the Oakland A's.
Meanwhile, Puig has been the talk of the baseball world since his major-league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 3. The 22-year-old is hitting .391 with eight home runs in 38 games. However, he missed out on a spot at the All-Star Game after fans sent Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to the Midsummer Classic via the Final Vote campaign.
Still, Cespedes said he thinks that Puig's skill set would not translate well to a Home Run Derby-esque affair.
"He's not really a home-run hitter," Cespedes said of Puig, "so I believe that I would win."