Home Run Derby: By the Numbers

Home Run Derby: By the Numbers

With the 2018 Home Run Derby approaching in Washington D.C., I wanted to see what the number of home runs would look like on a graph. Now, I am fortunate enough to have some fancy software for statistical data but even after several graduate-level courses, I still don’t understand how to really use it. So, I am going to stick to the good ol’ fashion bar graph.

This information is excluding the 1959-1961 TV series and instead focuses on the event from 1985 until last year. I am going to break it down by total number of home runs and total home runs by league since 1985. Enjoy!

Total Home Runs hit – 2,357

Total HR Bar Graph

Total Home Runs by League – AL 1,247 > NL 1,096

HR by League

It doesn’t take a statistician to see the jump in total number of home runs over since its inauguration in 1985. In case you can’t see it clearly enough, take a look at the same information as the first chart in this line graph:

Total HR Line Graph

You can clearly see a large jump from 2014 to 2015. This can be for several reasons, the change in format on how the Home Run Derby is played due to the (allegedly) juiced balls. Regardless, fans are getting their money’s worth since the only reason they are there is for the home runs.

The format has changed over the years which is probably the primary reason for the jump in home runs in the contest. Although I do prefer the ’10 strikes/outs’ and your turn is over format over the current four-minute hit as many as you can format. It gets more complicated than that but for arguments sake that’s the format. But if the idea is to hit as many home runs as humanly possible for the players, this is the way to do it.

A couple notes to mention about the numbers that were provided by Baseball-Reference.com; One, the 1988 contest was called due to rain (that sucks). On several occasions the NL/AL had an uneven advantage in the contest kind of skewing the numbers a little bit, but I didn’t want to dive too deep into it and take out any outliers that existed like that.

Notable HR Derby Records

  1. Most Home Runs in a Single Contest – 61, Giancarlo Stanton (2016)
  2. Most Home Runs in a Single Round – 28, Josh Hamilton (2008)
  3. Most All-Time Home Runs – 91, Todd Frazier
  4. Most HR Derby Wins – 3, Ken Griffey Jr. (1994, 98, and 99)

Ken Griffey Jr - Getty Images

I honestly tried to find the farthest hit home run hit in HR Derby history, but I couldn’t find a conclusive answer (please let me know if you can find it!).

We saw 191 home runs last year and 203 the year before. Gomez Guess says we will see 179 this year in D.C.

Do you have a favorite Home Run Derby? What about your favorite Home Run Derby Moment? Let us know in the comments!

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Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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