Another Fantastic Home Run Derby, Cubs Infield Prospects, Love for El Mago, and Other Bullets

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Another Fantastic Home Run Derby, Cubs Infield Prospects, Love for El Mago, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The All-Star Game will be fun tonight – it pretty much always is a mild amount of fun, and not a lot more or less – but it could be even more fun if the NL wins for the first time in seven years.

  • Pete Alonso won the Home Run Derby last night, and although he was freaking impressive in the process, the guy he beat – Vlad Guerrero, Jr. – stole the show with his absurd home run total over the course of the whole night (91, versus just 57 for Alonso). But dude was gassed by the end:

  • Pretty awesome to see a rookie win the $1 million prize, by the way, considerably topping his season salary of under $600,000.
  • The Joc-Vladito semifinal was the real star of the show, with the pair going toe-to-toe over the course of the main round, a tiebreaker round, and then THREE extra three-swing OT sessions. In total, they hit 70 homers in that round alone:

  • That’s two straight years of really good Home Run Derby’s, after last year’s thrilling Bryce-just-barely-beats-Schwarber event. Something something cheating something. Anyway, it was awesome to see young stars on a big stage getting lots of love. It’s one night a year that MLB definitely gets more right than wrong.
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

  • Happy birthday to the Cubs’ pitching coach, who is still eight years younger than Bartolo Colon:

  • Everyone loves El Mago:

  • It’s a real shame he was injured when he was, because Zack Short – who plays good defense and has simply always hit – would probably have emerged as a candidate to get some starts at second base a couple months ago. As it is, he’ll likely have to just work his way back at AAA and stay on the radar for a bench job next year:

  • This youngster – who received a solid IFA bonus a few years ago – has been on our radar since Spring Training, and he continues to impress:

  • The 20-year-old infielder is hitting .284/.321/.472, which is good for a 126 wRC+ in the A-ball Midwest League. He has the 8th highest OPS in the league among players who’ve been there at least 70 games. He’s also two years younger than the average age in the league.
  • Second rounder Chase Strumpf got his time with the Eugene Emeralds underway, and hasn’t wasted a lot of time showing off the power:

  • From the other sports:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.