Let’s talk about the Home Run Derby.

Everyone seems to think that it really messes a player up, but I’m not so sure about that.

I know a lot of people do not like math, but there is a thing called statistical regression. It simply means that really hot players will eventually cool off.

The nature of the Home Run Derby is directly connected to statistical regression as the MLB tends to ask the hottest players in the league to participate.

Of the players participating —Robinson Cano has 16 homers, Miguel Cabrera has 21, Corey Hart and Vernon Wells have 19, David Ortiz has 17, and Matt Holliday, who is the only player not at the top of the home run leader board with 12.

The thing is, even though we’re halfway through the season, those players won’t necessarily be doubling their home run production. Cabrera could hit 42 and Cano is certainly capable of 32, but are Hart and Wells locks for 38? I doubt it.

Just look at Hart, he has averaged only 18 homers a year over the last three seasons. He has 19 right now so the chances are pretty high that he will experience a statistical drop-off in the second half.

Some will undoubtedly point to the Derby as the reason for his statistical regression, but in reality, he’s way hotter than he has any business being and won’t be able to sustain it throughout the rigorous 162 game season. Hart will be lucky to reach 28 home runs.

Take a player like Bobby Abreu. He hit 18 homers in the first half in 2005, won the Derby, and then only hit eight more homers the rest of the year.

Everyone blames the Home Run Derby.

The problem with this is that Abreu is not a home run hitter. He had 18 by the All-Star break that year, but in his 12 full seasons in the majors he averaged just 21 homers a year. His first half pace was ridiculous for him and, thanks to statistical regression, impossible for him to keep up.

I’m not saying that there isn’t some truth to the fact that the Derby could mess up a player’s swing to some extent, but I think it has been grossly overstated.

I’m not worried about Cano in the Derby at all and neither should you. The real worry here is all about statistical regression and that will happen whether a player takes part in the Home Run Derby or not.


Related Stories

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com