Derby squads provide lots of pop

Who could join the party?

Colorado's Justin Morneau would be a nice fit if he makes the NL All-Star team through the online Final Vote, which concludes Thursday. He won an MVP award with the Twins in 2006 and was a fan favorite in Minnesota before concussion problems put a crimp in his career and paved his way out of town. Morneau's Final Vote candidacy could receive a dual push from Colorado fans, who are enjoying his comeback with the Rockies, and Twins boosters who would love a reunion.

Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez, another slugger potentially on Tulowitzki's radar, is the National League's answer to Adrian Beltre as the player most likely to need an excavation tool to dig his way back to freedom once he corkscrews himself into the batter's box with a violent swing. As Gomez recently told Milwaukee reporters, "I go to the Home Run Derby every day."

Bautista appears to have fewer options than Tulowitzki in rounding out his roster. White Sox rookie sensation Jose Abreu would be an obvious attraction, but he's been lukewarm, at best, in his public comments about the Derby.

Oakland's Josh Donaldson (19 homers) and Seattle's Kyle Seager (13) have the highest home run totals among other AL All-Stars available. Donaldson, who once made a splash by hitting a home run into a basket during batting practice in Oakland, recently told A's beat reporters he would be interested if asked to participate.

The veteran dark horse

Bautista's 2014 average home run distance of 404.6 feet ties him with Albert Pujols for 24th in the majors, according to the Home Run Tracker. He is also the most experienced participant in the field, with two Derby appearances on his résumé.

Joey Bats made a quick first-round exit in his Derby debut in 2011 at Chase Field in Phoenix, but he advanced all the way to the finals before losing to Prince Fielder the following year at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

"Over the years, he's learned how to use his lower half and drive the ball," the NL scout said. "He always had bat speed as a kid. It all came together when he learned to get his foot down and drive the baseball. He does that incredibly well."

Bautista's career numbers at Target Field certainly bode well for his chances: He has 11 homers and a .966 slugging percentage in 59 career at-bats in the Twins' new venue. Think he has a comfort level at the place?

The pride of New Jersey

Few players are going to be more stoked to appear in a Home Run Derby than Frazier, who has a track record for coming up big on a national stage -- first evidenced by his bravura performance with the Toms River, New Jersey, championship team in the 1998 Little League World Series.

"I know he's a Little League legend," Tulowitzki said. "I'm hoping he can bring some of that Williamsport magic to a national stage."

Frazier is the only hitter in the Derby field who uses Frank Sinatra for his walk-up music, and he's almost certainly the only contestant who has homered in the big leagues while throwing his bat at the ball, which he did in  a plate appearance that became a YouTube sensation. Wouldn't you love to see him try that in Minneapolis?

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