You read earlier today of the history of various Cubs in the Home Run Derby. To that history, tonight we add the names of Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber, both of whom have hit memorably long home runs.
The longest I remember from Baez was long before he made the major leagues. It was in a spring-training game at HoHoKam Park, while the Cubs still trained there. I don’t recall the exact date, but it must have been 2013, the first year Javy got a non-roster invite to camp.
He hit a ball over the scoreboard at the back of the left-field berm that landed six cars deep in the parking lot, a blast that had to be close to 500 feet.
For Schwarber, you likely remember these well:
The call on the second one — and the announcers had no idea at the time that it had landed on the top of the video board — is worth listening to.
Here is the bracket for tonight’s competition, which, in addition to Baez and Schwarber, includes Jesus Aguilar, Rhys Hoskins, Alex Bregman, Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy:
The matchups were chosen as follows:
Seeding was determined by each participant’s home run total through last Tuesday’s games. Ties were broken by awarding the higher seed to the player who reached his current home run total first.
In the opening round, Aguilar (23 home runs) will square off against the eight seed Hoskins (14 home runs); Harper (22 home runs) will be the two seed and face the seventh-seeded Freeman (16 home runs); Muncy (21 home runs), the number three seed, matches up against the six seed Báez (17 home runs); and the fourth-seeded Bregman (19 home runs) will square off with Schwarber (17 home runs), the event’s number five seed.
Good luck to Javy and Warbird tonight! TV coverage begins at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN.