Giancarlo Stanton, the defending Home Run Derby champion, was eliminated in the first round of the 2017 derby
Everyone loves a good underdog story. MLB came under fire for selecting Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez into the 2017 Home Run Derby, and he definitely heard the criticism. Consequently, Sanchez eliminated defending champion Giancarlo Stanton in front of his home crowd in Miami with 17 home runs.
After a slow start of just four home runs, Stanton surged back to 13 and ended his regular time with 15 home runs. At this point, fans everywhere believed Stanton would easily mash three homers in his remaining 30 seconds. However, a couple of fly balls hurt the champion and he was eliminated.
Finally, Sanchez, a Cinderella story and the eight seed, defeated first seeded Stanton 17-16. Sanchez’s win comes after a heap of criticism in the week leading up to the derby. After being the fastest player to 20 home runs in major league history in 2016, Sanchez has just 13 at the break this season.
Despite the lowest total of all participants, Sanchez would not disappoint. He went into the first round firing on all cylinders, mashing multiple dingers off the glass and into the center field statue.
Ultimately, Sanchez versus Stanton provided fans with one of the most exciting home run derby rounds we’ve ever witnessed. In the first round, too.
Of course the Yankees seized the opportunity to troll critics as Sanchez’s sensational performance erupted Twitter. Meanwhile, here’s how the rest of Twitter reacted:
In fact, that pretty much sums it up.
The Looney Toons had Michael’s secret stuff, Gary Sanchez has the Kraken.
These other guys are amazing, but Sanchez versus Stanton was unreal. Ironically, the best round of the night was the opening.
At this point, someone take this man on a trip to Las Vegas, you won’t regret it.
Strangely enough, the Home Run Derby is not over yet. Although the home town favorite is eliminated, the show must go on.