The 2021 MLB All-Star Game was recently moved out of Atlantafollowing the passing of a controversial Georgia law that critics say restricts voting access in the state. Instead, the annual Midsummer Classic will be played at Coors Field, which is home to the Colorado Rockies.
It's well-known that Coors Field is one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in Major League Baseball. Coors Field sits 5,200 feet above sea level, which by far the highest ballpark in all of Major League Baseball. The next closest park is Chase Field in Phoenix, which sits 1,100 feet above sea level.
Over the past five seasons, Coors Field has ranked near the top of the league in terms of home runs:
2020 - 1.147 home runs per game (11th highest) - 60-game regular season
2019 - 1.266 home runs per game (3rd highest)
2018 - 1.280 home runs per game (2nd highest)
2017 - 1.195 home runs per game (5th highest)
2016 - 1.165 home runs per game (3rd highest)
"Hitters are collectively slashing .307/.370/.526 in Coors Field this season," Matt Snyder of CBS Sport wrote in July 2019. "The league average slash line is .252/.322/.431, so we're looking at a difference of 55 batting average points, 48 on-base percentage and a ridiculous 95 points of slugging."
It's clear to see that players can be very successful when it comes to hitting at Coors Field in any capacity. With players being lobbed balls in the middle of the strike zone, the results really could really be insane for the 2021 Home Run Derby.
Coors Field hasn't hosted the Home Run Derby since 1998 and that was definitely a spectacle. Seattle Mariners star Ken Griffey Jr. ended up winning the event as he slugged 19 home runs to take the crown.
Griffey Jr. defeated the likes of Jim Thome (Cleveland), Rafael Palmeiro (Baltimore Orioles), Vinny Castilla (Colorado Rockies), and Mark McGwire (St. Louis Cardinals) just to name a few.
Considering the type of star power that we could in the 2021 Home Run Derby, there could be even more long balls. Here are 10 players we'd love to see participate in the 2021 Home Run Derby at Coors Field.
Is there a player more compelling in all of the MLB than Shohei Ohtani? Not in my eyes. The Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher/designated hitter can get the job on the mound and at the dish. In fact, in Sunday's game against the Chicago White Sox, Ohtani absolutely annihilated a baseball on the very first pitch he saw from Dylan Cease. Ohtani has been hampered by injuries during his first three seasons in the big leagues, but his talent is out of this world. If Ohtani keeps swinging the bat at this rate, there's no doubt he should be launching bombs at Coors Field in July.
Mike Trout has already established himself as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. For a power hitter like Trout, it's surprising that the Angels outfielder has never participated in the Home Run Derby. However, this would be a great time for Trout to compete in his first Home Run Derby even if it were to be his only one. Seeing teammates like Ohtani and Trout going head-to-head in a battle of long balls would be a showdown for the ages.
You can't have a Home Run Derby without the reigning derby champion. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic forced MLB to have a shortened 60-game regular season and the All-Star Game festivities were canceled. Alonso was the last winner of the event back in 2019 in his rookie season. The New York Mets first baseman belted 23 home runs in the final round to edge out Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. by just one homer (23-22) at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Since breaking into the bigs in 2019, Alonso has launched 70 home runs in less than two full seasons, so the Mets star needs to continue to be a fixture.
Ronald Acuna Jr.
Ronald Acuna Jr. has quickly burst onto the scene as one of the most exciting young players in baseball. The Atlanta Bravesoutfielder already has one Home Run Derby under his bet after he competed in the 2019 installment. Acuna did defeat then Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell in the opening round before falling to Alonso by a narrow 20-19 margin. The Braves star is truly one of the most dangerous power hitters in the game and he needs to continue to be a fixture in the Home Run Derby.