SAN JOSE, CA- The California League and Carolina League announced today the representatives that will square off in this year's Home Run Derby at Municipal Stadium on June 18. The Home Run Derby, which will take place prior to this year's 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, features six of the top power hitters in all of Class A Advanced baseball. Slugging for the Carolina League will be outfielder Robby Hefflinger from the Lynchburg Hillcats, outfielder Tyler Naquin from the Carolina Mudcats and infielder Chris Curley from the Winston-Salem Dash. Battling these three hitters for the California League will be High Desert Mavericks outfielder Jabari Blash, outfielder Zach Borenstein from the Inland Empire 66ers, and San Jose Giants infielder Angel Villalona.
The California League participants each lead their respective teams in home runs this season. Inland Empire's Zach Borenstein, 15 home runs, and San Jose's very own Angel Villalona, 14 home runs, are in the top three in the California League in long balls. Villalona, San Jose's starting first baseman, leads the Giants in all power hitting statistics including home runs, RBIs, and slugging percentage. Jabari Blash, a starting outfielder in the All-Star Game, leads High Desert with 13 long balls and rounds out the California League representatives.
For the Carolina League, Robby Hefflinger's 16 home runs are tops among all participants and leads Class A Advanced baseball. Not far behind are Chris Curley, 11 home runs, and Tyler Naquin with 6. Although Naquin does not exhibit extreme power numbers, the Mudcats' outfielder is ranked as the number three overall prospect in the Indians' organization after being selected as the 15th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft in 2012.
The All-Star Game Home Run Derby will be hosted by Comcast SportsNet's Brodie Brazil. He will provide on-field commentary for fans in attendance throughout Tuesday's contest. Brazil, an eight-time regional Emmy Award winner, is an anchor and reporter for the network's signature sports news program "SportsNet Central" and serves as a host for pre- and post-game shows. In addition, he is a rinkside reporter for Comcast SportsNet's San Jose Sharks telecasts.
The 2013 California-Carolina League Home Run Derby will feature a total of six batters, three from each league, battling for two spots in the Championship round. Each round will consist of ten total outs that are accumulated by any swing that does not result in a home run. After a hitter gets to nine outs, any home runs hit will count for two. After the first round, the top two home run hitters will advance and face-off in the Championship round. The slugger who collects the most home runs in the final round will be crowned as the 2013 California-Carolina League Home Run Derby Champion. The winner will receive a trophy on the field, presented by Minor League Baseball Vice President of Business and Baseball Operations Tim Brunswick and San Jose Giants General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Mark Wilson, along with a cash prize.
Country fans will also want to get to the ballpark early as ACA nominated artist Craig Campbell will step up to the plate and take a few swings in the Home Run Derby before performing the National Anthem.
The Home Run Derby will be immediately followed by the 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game at Municipal Stadium, the home of the San Jose Giants. It will mark the first time that the team has hosted this event. After last year's 9-1 victory by the Carolina League in Winston-Salem, N.C., the two Class-A Advanced circuits are deadlocked in the game's history with identical 7-7-2 records.
Tickets still remain for the 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game in San Jose. To learn more and purchase tickets visit sjgiants.com/allstargame or call (408) 297-1435. If fans are unable to attend the 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, the game will be televised locally on Comcast Hometown Network Digital Channel 104 and nationally on MiLB.TV. Fans will also be able to listen to the game for free online at sjgiants.com and via the San Jose Giants Mobile App. Whether fans are listening, watching or attending the game, the San Jose Giants want to encourage everyone to use the official social media hashtag of the 2013 All-Star Game, #SJASG13. Fans can begin right now by participating in the All-Star Game poster contest. Visit sjgiants.com/allstargame and download the official 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game poster. Then, take a picture of your poster hanging up in your business, home or school and post it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook tagging the San Jose Giants, using #SJASG13. One lucky fan will win a bag filled with All-Star merchandise!