Yoenis Cespedes might not be an actual All-Star, but he was the undisputed star on Monday night after winning his first Chevrolet Home Run Derby title.

With nine homers in the finals, Cespedes topped Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who hit eight.

Cespedes put on a show for the sold-out Citi Field crowd, banging out 17 home runs in the first round of his first Derby. Several of those shots went to the third deck of a ballpark with deep dimensions, and Cespedes' total from the opening round was enough to allow him to take it easy in the second round and advance to the finals against Bryce Harper. Not that he did take it easy, though, for Cespedes hit six more shots in the second round to pad the money donated to some worthy charities and ensure the AL squad of a victory.

So now everybody knows why captain Robinson Cano handpicked Cespedes to round out his American League squad.

"I said, 'Let me choose somebody that's not in the All-Star [Game] so he can get an opportunity to be here,'" Cano said earlier in the day. "He accepted."

Accepted and thrived. Now in his second season with the A's after defecting from Cuba, Cespedes' batting-practice displays have been the stuff of legend, and on this night he got to show that "sick pop," as David Ortiz called it, to a national audience. After two quick outs, Cespedes went deep four times in succession and was off on his way. It wasn't the same as Josh Hamilton's 28 first-round homers at Yankee Stadium in 2008, but it did tie for the third-most in a single round in the history of the Derby.

"The key is not to get ahead of yourself," Cespedes told ESPN through interpreter Pedro Gomez, "not to get accelerated, to wait for a pitch you can handle."