Cody Decker, Jesus Montero, and Peter O’Brien of the Pacific Coast League along with Jesus Aguilar, Dariel Alvarez, Matt Davidson of the International League, have been named the six Triple-A All-Star representatives to participate in the 2015 Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby, powered by Omaha Public Power District (OPPD). The Home Run Derby will take place on Monday, July 13 at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska, at 7:35 p.m. CST, leading up to the 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 15.
The El Paso Chihuahuas will have their first-ever participant in a Triple-A Home Run Derby with Cody Decker competing in this year’s contest. He currently owns the best home run ratio among all Triple-A hitters, averaging one long ball every 14 at-bats, and is the San Diego Padres all-time minor league home run leader. Jesus Montero hopes to become the third Tacoma player to ever win the Triple-A Home Run Derby, and the first since Bucky Jacobson in 2004. Montero’s 14 homers this season are tied for the eighth-best total in the PCL. Peter O’Brien, who hit the fifth-most home runs (34) in Minor League Baseball in 2014, has 15 round trippers so far this year as an outfielder for the Reno Aces. O’Brien won the Arizona Fall League’s inaugural Bowman Hitting Challenge in 2013.
Returning from last year’s Triple-A Home Run Derby in Durham is Columbus’ Jesus Aguilar, who knocked out four long balls in that contest. Aguilar has accumulated 30 home runs in two seasons with the Clippers. Dariel Alvarez, ranked the Baltimore Orioles’ No. 5 prospect by Baseball America, has produced 12 home runs this season as an outfielder for the Norfolk Tides. Prior to joining the Orioles’ organization, Alvarez played in Cuba, where he hit 45 home runs over a span of six seasons. Charlotte’s Matt Davidson has a chance to join Rob Stratton as the only two-time Triple-A Home Run Derby champions, as he previously won the 2013 contest as a member of the Reno Aces. Davidson’s 13 long balls this season tie him for second in the IL.
The 2015 Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby will showcase the three PCL and three IL All-Stars, as well as two Nebraska high school players, Omaha Roncalli Catholic’s Alec Bohm, and Papillion-La Vista’s Jack Kalina. Bohm and Kalina advanced from a field of local high school hitters who competed for the two spots over two rounds on May 23, with Bohm leading the way with seven home runs and Kalina recording six.
The player with the most home runs by the end of the night on July 13 will receive the 2015 Triple-A Home Run Derby champion’s belt. In addition, for every home run hit during the contest, OPPD will donate $100 to their Energy Assistance Program. Werner Park offers a hitter-friendly environment for the eight sluggers, as the ballpark saw 164 home runs sail over its fences in 2014, ranking third-most among PCL stadiums. The last two Home Run Derby champions have come from the PCL, with Las Vegas’ Allan Dykstra claiming the belt last season in Durham.