Andujar unlikely Home Run Derby winner

Yankees No. 11 prospect outdistances Cardinals' Voit in final round

Miguel Andujar of the Tampa Yankees is presented with his trophy after winning Home Run Derby (Mark LoMoglio/

By Erin Brown / Special to | June 20, 2015 9:09 PM

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Two of the longer shots to participate in Home Run Derby at the Florida State League All-Star Game ended up going the deepest.

Palm Beach Cardinals first baseman Luke Voit and Tampa Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar dueled through a three-out tiebreaker in the final round of the Derby at Tradition FIeld.

Andujar connected on the third pitch of the sudden-death round and captured the title when Voit's drive down the left field line came up short.

With only three homers on the season, Voit earned a surprising invitation to take part in the event.

"I said, 'Screw it, i'll do it.' I figured it would be fun to do," Voit said. "I've never done one before, so I was excited to do it."

The same goes for Andujar, who said it was an easy decision when asked by Yankees manager Dave Bialas.

"It's the first time I've been in a home run derby and I won," Andujar said through a translator. "I had a great time."

Brevard County's Clint Coulter, Daytona's Phillip Ervin, Bradenton's JaCoby Jones and Charlotte's Jake Bauers, all of whom rank among the league's top 10 home run hitters at the break struggled Saturday.

Coulter and Bauer failed to hit any balls out of the home of the St. Lucie Mets; Ervin managed one. Jones registered three homers but failed to tack on more in the second round.

Voit hit three in the first round, just enough to advance. He followed four "outs" with four homers in the second round, planting one shot in a palm tree beyond the left-field fence.

"I kind of just forgot everyone was here and kind of felt like I was hitting BP like in the back field before a game," Voit said. "I was calm. That last round, I think I got too tired and tried to do too much."

For Andujar, moving on required extra work. He outdueled Ervin in the first round with one homer in two tries, then topped Jones by going 1-for-3.

"I was just concentrating on the pitches," said Andujar, the Yankees' No. 11 prospect. "I wasn't nervous."

In the finals, Andujar connected on his third attempt, but Voit was unable to regain his groove.

But for one night, it demonstrated recent work is paying off.

"I've been working on some stuff to get more power numbers," Voit said. "I had pretty good numbers last year, but I've been going through a little struggle lately. I just have to find that groove back.

"Overall, I'm proud of what I did."

In brief

A "Florida" feel: The South Division team had a distinctly Floridian look, with a total of 14 players -- more than half the roster -- representing the Jupiter Hammerheads and Charlotte Stone Crabs, affiliates of the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively.

The group included five of Miami's and two of Tampa Bay's Top 30 prospects.

Jupiter infielder Brian Anderson said it was nice -- for once -- to have all the talent on the same side.

"Playing against Charlotte is definitely not an easy task," said Anderson, the Marlins' ninth-ranked prospect. "You can see it on the field. They are two of the better teams in the league and it's always a battle whenever we play them."

Notes: Players honored former FSL president Chuck Murphy, who passed away in February, by wearing a black patch with his name on their caps. Martin had served in the position from Jan. 1, 1990. ... St. Lucie hosted its first All-Star Game since 2004. That year, Boston's Hanley Ramirez, Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano, Toronto's Russell Martin, Philadelphia's Jonathan Papelbon and Chad Billingsley were among those who filled out the rosters.

Erin Brown is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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