Blackmon’s 14 homers not enough to advance
MIAMI» You couldn’t blame Charlie Blackmon if he felt a tad out of place.
There he was, surrounded by the most powerful sluggers in baseball, including New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge, who smashed four home runs of more than 500 feet en route to winning the Home Run Derby on Monday night at Marlins Park.
“Home runs aren’t my thing,” Blackmon said before the event. “It’s definitely not just (batting practice) for me. You come watch my BP, I’m flipping balls over the shortstop. I’m going to have to do something a little different.”
The Rockies’ all-star center fielder certainly did that.
The bearded wonder represented, hitting 14 homers in the first round at an average of 413 feet. His longest blast traveled 434 feet and his average exit ve- locity was 103.6 mph, according to Statcast.
Unfortunately for Blackmon, he lost a heartbreaker to the Dodg- ers’ Cody Bellinger. The L.A. rookie hit his second 440-foot homer with five seconds left to earn 30 seconds of bonus time, and then blasted the two homers he needed to oust Blackmon, 15-14.
Bellinger advanced to the sec- ond round, where he was defeat- ed by Judge.
“I had a great time,” Blackmon said. “It was a lot of fun, and I was glad to be a part of it all.”
Rockies bullpen coach Darren Holmes, who pitched to Black- mon, was thrilled with Black- mon’s effort but disappointed he didn’t advance.
“It was a blast to be a part of this,” Holmes said. “Charlie did a great job. He didn’t miss very many. He probably missed three or four that were right there. He popped some up or hit some duck hooks, but he did great.”
Added DJ LeMahieu, Colora- do’s all-star second baseman and Blackmon’s close friend: “He did awesome. He got on a nice roll too, hitting about five or six in a row.”
Asked if he met his own expec- tations, Blackmon replied: “My goal was to hit one, and I did 13 better than that.”
Rockies’ Home Run Derby participants, results over the years
When center fielder Charlie Blackmon was eliminated in the first round of the Home Run Derby on Monday night, he did so as the Rockies’ 11th entrant in the contest. Here is how the previous 10 fared in the annual slugging showcase (Carlos Gonzalez and Larry Walker twice apiece): 2016, Petco Park, San Diego. Carlos Gonzalez: Eliminated after the first round with 12 home runs. 2014, Target Field, Minneapolis. Troy Tulowitzki: Hit six home runs, tied for second among NL participants (fifth overall). Eliminated after the second round.
• Justin Morneau: Hit two home runs (tied for second-to-last overall). Eliminated after the first round.
2013, Citi Field, New York. Michael Cuddyer: Finished third with 15 home runs. Eliminated in the semifinals.
2012, Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo. Carlos Gonzalez: Tied for fifth place with four home runs. Eliminated after the first round.
2007, AT&T Park, San Francisco. Matt Holliday: Tied for third place with 13 home runs. Eliminated in the semifinals.
2001, Safeco Field, Seattle. Todd Helton: Tied for second-to-last with two homers. Eliminated after the first round.
1999, Fenway Park, Boston. Larry Walker: Four-way tie for fifth place. Eliminated after the first round.
1998, Coors Field, Denver.
Vinny Castilla: Finished third with 12 home runs. Eliminated in the semifinals.
1997, Jacobs Field, Cleveland. Larry Walker: Finished in second place, hitting 19 home runs. 1996, Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia. Ellis Burks: Finished second-to-last with one home run.
1994, Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh. Dante Bichette: Tied for fourth place with three home runs.