MLB Notebook: Breaking down Prince's Derby

MLB Notebook: Breaking down Prince's Derby

Prince Fielder entered the 2012 Home Run Derby with a career tally of 245 home runs, a figure that places him in a tie with Deron Johnson and Mickey Tettleton for the 211th most in baseball history. While Johnson played 16 years in the Majors and Tettleton finished with 14 seasons in the bigs, Prince is currently enjoying his eighth season.

And that's where Fielder's total emerges as a notable figure. Only 17 players in history have accumulated more homers through their first eight seasons, and if Fielder simply matches his first-half total from this season, his 260 at the end of the year will give him the 10th-most homers ever for eight-year players.

Fielder is now playing in his age-28 season -- those 245 homers are tied for the 20th most in history for all players through that age-season. Again, if his final-year tally reaches 260, he will move up to 15th place, nicely fitting in between a pair of Hall of Famers -- Harmon Killebrew and Ralph Kiner -- celebrated for their respective abilities to go yard.

Fielder
• Fielder won the 2012 Home Run Derby, outhomering Jose Bautista, 12-7, in the finals.

• The crown was the second for Fielder, who won his first in 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. That year, he defeated Nelson Cruz in the finals. Fielder is the second player to win multiple Derby titles, following Ken Griffey Jr. Griffey won the Derby in 1994, '98 and '99.


• Fielder's 12 final-round home runs tied the mark (set by Robinson Cano in 2011) for the most ever in that round.

• Fielder hit a total of 28 homers: five in the first round, 11 in the second and the 12 in the finals. For a Derby champ, the 28 are the fourth-most ever.

Most total HR by a Derby champ
Player Year Total HR Best round
Bobby Abreu 2005 41 24 (Rd. 1)
Robinson Cano 2011 32 12 (Rds. 2&3)
David Ortiz 2010 32 13 (Rd. 2)
Prince Fielder 2012 28 12 (Rd. 3)
Miguel Tejada 2004 27 15 (Rd. 2)
Sammy Sosa 2000 26 11 (Rd. 2)

• Fielder's total of 11 in the second round is tied for seventh-most ever in that round. The full list of those who hit that many in the second round:

• 15 by Miguel Tejada in 2004
• 14 by Albert Pujols in 2003
• 13 by David Ortiz in 2010
• 12 by Robinson Cano in 2011, Hanley Ramirez in 2010, Alex Rios in 2007
• 11 by Prince Fielder in 2012, Adrian Gonzalez in 2011, Jason Giambi in 2003, Sammy Sosa in 2000

• Fielder hit a pair of 476-foot blasts, the top distance for this year's Derby. The longest for the other participants: Bautista (442), Mark Trumbo (457), Carlos Beltran (459), Carlos Gonzalez (433), Andrew McCutchen (436) and Matt Kemp (420).

• Fielder is the first Tigers representative to win the Home Run Derby.

• The Fielder-Bautista finals matchup represented the second straight year that the Finals saw two competitors from the same league. Last year, Cano defeated Boston's Adrian Gonzalez. Before 2011, this intraleague finals scenario had not occured seen since 2008, when the Twins' Justin Morneau bested the Rangers' Josh Hamilton.

• Since the beginning of the 2006 season, Fielder owns the third-most home runs (243) in the Majors, behind Ryan Howard's 262 and Pujols' 258. Since the start of the 2010 season, the 2012 HR Derby runner-up Bautista has the most homers in the Majors, with 124.

• 2011 Home Run Derby champ Cano went homerless in his quest to defend his title. Cano was the first player to not hit any homers since Brandon Inge in 2009, and the fifth player since 1998 to do it. Besides Cano and Inge, the others are Troy Glaus in 2001, Bret Boone in '03, and Jason Bay in '05.

• Before Fielder, the most recent first baseman to capture a Derby title was Fielder in 2009. That year, he was the second consecutive first baseman to capture the crown, after Morneau. Other first basemen to win the Derby: Wally Joyner in 1986 (shared the title), Mark McGwire ('92), Frank Thomas ('95), Tino Martinez ('97), Jason Giambi ('02*) and Howard ('06).
In 2002, Giambi started 92 games at first and 63 as the DH

• In four career Derby appearances, Fielder has now hit 63 home runs -- the fifth-highest total in the event's history. Fielder trails Ortiz, Griffey, Giambi and Sosa.

• A total of 82 home runs were hit this year. Besides the 28 from Fielder, Bautista contributed 20, Trumbo 13, Beltran 12, Gonzalez and McCutchen four apiece, and Kemp had one. The AL outhomered the NL, 61-21, with Fielder totaling more homers than the four NL players combined.

• Trumbo's 13 home runs were the most for an Angels representative since Vladimir Guerrero had 17 in 2007. Beltran's 12 were the most for a Cardinals rep since Pujols had 13 in 2007.

• Beltran was vying to become the first switch-hitter since Ruben Sierra in 1989 to win the Derby (Sierra shared the title with Eric Davis). Fielder is the fifth consecutive left-handed hitter to capture the crown. In the past 15 contests, a left-hander has won 12 times.

• Entering the 2012 Derby, Fielder had played a total of six games at Kauffman Stadium, with no home runs in 24 at-bats. No other ballpark has seen Fielder accumulate as many career at-bats without any home runs.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.