Stanton officially named to Home Run Derby roster

Stanton officially named to Home Run Derby roster

PHOENIX -- Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton was officially named to the National League lineup for the Gillette Home Run Derby lineup on Tuesday.

The announcement came as no surprise, as Stanton confirmed he would participate on June 29. The Home Run Derby is Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Now the question remains: Is Stanton the favorite? The Marlins' 24-year-old right fielder leads the National League with 21 homers entering Tuesday's game, and he is known for hitting the ball harder and farther than anyone else.

"I like his chances," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who will throw to Stanton at Target Field on on Monday.

Stanton is one of the premier sluggers in the game. According to ESPN's home run tracker, Stanton leads the Major Leagues in average true distance on his homers, averaging a whopping 423.8 feet per home run. Second place on the list goes to Giants outfielder Michael Morse at 420.5 feet.

Stanton said the only home run contest he has participated in was in the South Atlantic League in 2008. He didn't make it to the finals.

"[There is] no strategy," Stanton said Monday. "Just swing as hard as you can."

One of the common complaints about the Home Run Derby is that players alter their swings for the competition, and when they return to action, they have trouble readjusting to regular pitching.

But Redmond said he wasn't worried about that happening to his biggest home-run threat.

"This is a guy who's very controlled with his batting practices," Redmond said. "He has the ability to hit the ball out to right field and to left field with very easy swings.

A new format has been installed for this year's Derby, as the five players from each league will receive seven outs instead of the usual 10 in each round. In the first round, the player who hits the most homers in each league will receive an automatic bye to the third round (semifinals). The next two players from each league with the most homers will square off against one another in a head-to-head matchup in the second round, with the two winners advancing to the semifinals against the league's top performer from the first round.

The final round will be a showdown between the AL and NL's best. If necessary, the first tiebreaker would allow the finalists three swings apiece.

If you can't wait for the actual Derby, the Home Run Derby mobile game is a good way to immerse yourself in the action immediately, with Target Field serving as the setting. The game is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. New for 2014 is Multiplayer Derby Mode, Achievements and Objectives.

Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.