Yoenis Cespedes goes back-to-back

"You should see them from my view," Gallego said. "It's like the ball just shoots out of a cannon. I just throw it, I hear it, and then I hear the crowd cheer. I don't even watch them. I don't need to watch them. I mean, I peeked on a few. But for the most part, I just listen to them."

Asked about all those home runs Cespedes powdered into the distant left-field suites, Gallego chuckled: "They sounded real loud. I know that."

Then again, it took both the sound and fury of Cespedes to overshadow the first-round theatrics of Bautista and the man the Derby fans of America had been waiting years to watch on this stage, Giancarlo Stanton.

Bautista crushed 10 first-round homers in an incredible run of 15 swings, highlighted by two majestic blasts off the facing of the second deck. But it was Stanton who one-upped him -- with an unforgettable six-homer round that included four mammoth shots that had to be witnessed to be properly comprehended.

Stanton scrunched one ball that cleared the batter's eye and came down in the upper deck in dead center field, projected at 476 feet. And a rarefied lunar launch that landed in the seemingly unreachable third deck in left, projected at 465. And a supersonic 3-wood to dead center that was short-hopping the batter's eye about two-thirds of a second after it left the bat. And then there was his final, signature homer -- the longest home run ever hit in Target Field history, a herculean blast that came six rows from clearing the unclearable third deck in left.

ESPN's Home Run Tracker estimated that one would have traveled 510 feet if those distant seats hadn't been there to spoil the fun.

Asked if that was the longest ball he'd ever hit, Stanton quickly shook his head, "No." But when Frazier was asked whether he'd thought, when the ball left the bat, it was going to leave the stadium, he gushed: "Oh my God. Yes, I did. That was crazy. Unbelievable. They said it was projected at 510. I could have sworn it was almost 600 feet."

But as everyone around him huffed and puffed and tried to put on a show,  Cespedes barely broke a sweat -- and wondered why everyone else was swinging so hard.

"I'm somebody who's very conscious of the power that I have," he said. "So I don't need to put more of a swing, or more of an effort, in order to hit a home run. I just have to look for a good pitch and put a good swing on it, and [that] usually takes care of it."

Yeah. We noticed. Amazingly, Cespedes came into this Derby with no home runs in his previous 84 at-bats. A couple of hours later, he came out of it as an all-time Derby icon. But that's what 30 sizzling home runs will do for a guy.

Asked whether he was aware that the exalted list of back-to-back Derby winners consisted of only him and Griffey, Cespedes smiled widely.

"I'm very happy and proud to be the only other person," he said through an interpreter. "I wish there was another word that would describe it even better than that."

Well, there is, actually, now that he mentions it:


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