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The Daily Bernie, 7/12/16: Stanton wins Home Run Derby

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Giancarlo Stanton stunned all with a masterful Home Run Derby performance, while some All-Star trade chips spoke out, among other news.

MLB: All Star Game-Home Run Derby
‘Wow’ doesn’t even begin to describe what this man does to baseballs.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the Daily Bernie! Yesterday’s main event was the Home Run Derby, and thus, there was very little trade news. But there were a few rumors and notes, so those will be covered here. Oh, and today, we’ll do our best to avoid any further Reddick wars. It’s the best dance in the game, so let’s get rolling once more!

  • On Monday night, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins was crowned the 2016 Home Run Derby Champion. Having clubbed 20 home runs thus far in the regular season, Stanton smacked record-setting 61 bombs in the Derby, beating Robinson Cano of the Mariners, Mark Trumbo of the Orioles, and finally 2015 Champion Todd Frazier of the White Sox en route to the title. Stanton put on an absolute show, blasting home runs deep into the San Diego sky - hitting many over 450 feet. Cano was certainly a disappointment with only seven homers. On the other hand, Frazier, Trumbo, and Dodgers rookie Corey Seager were each very impressive. The biggest takeaway from this year’s Derby is that the new format introduced in 2015 is quite a bit more entertaining than the previous format, making the Home Run Derby truly fun to watch. Of course, Stanton’s superhuman strength helps, too.
  • With the media day for the All-Star Game yesterday, many veterans spoke to reporters about potential trades. Most notably, Jay Bruce, Jonathan Lucroy, Andrew Miller, Wil Myers, and Stephen Vogt spoke about their potential to be dealt. Lucroy and Bruce simply wish to play for a contender, while Myers would rather remain in San Diego and Miller is just going to take what comes. Vogt, interestingly, cites his prior transaction history - shuttled between different minor league levels, and going from Tampa Bay to the Athletics in early 2013 - as reason not to panic, and just to focus on where he is at the moment. While Vogt could be moved this July, it doesn’t seem extremely likely. For more on these All-Stars and more, check out Chris Cotillo’s full Media Day recaps on MLB Daily Dish.

Bernie’s Daily Deal: Rich Hill and Ryan Madson to the Toronto Blue Jays for Anthony Alford and Sean Reid-Foley

While the Blue Jays’ high-powered offense has ranked 5th in baseball in runs, they remain two games behind the Baltimore Orioles due to a lackluster pitching staff. J.A. Happ has been solid, but Marcus Stroman has been awful, and FIP does not agree with the successes of R.A. Dickey and Marco Estrada. Furthermore, Toronto’s best starter, All-Star Aaron Sanchez, is on track to blow past his innings limit, but the team cannot afford to shut him down. The bullpen has also been sub-par, posting a 4.05 ERA. A team definitely in win-now mode, Toronto could really use a pair of impact arms like Hill and Madson.

However, the pair won’t come cheap. The Blue Jays would have to give up two top-100 prospects in Anthony Alford and Sean Reid-Foley. Alford, almost 22, is extremely athletic. From 2012-2014 he spent the school year playing football, only managing a handful of games with the Blue Jays each year. In 2015, he committed to baseball and enjoyed a breakout season. While he’ll never be a huge power hitter, the right-handed hitter has a good swing, plenty of speed, and is superb in centerfield. Alford, however, is slashing only .184/.282/.257 this season. While certainly concerning, some of these struggles certainly coincide with his return from a concussion. Alford has tons of talent and could be MLB-ready as soon as mid-2017. He ranks at number 86 on Baseball America’s midseason top 100.

Sean Reid-Foley is a stellar young arm. Only 20 years old, Reid-Foley dominated Single-A this season, earning a promotion to High-A where he has seems to get even better. His mid-nineties fastball and plus changeup have always gotten him strikeouts, but in 2016 his command has truly blossomed and allowed him to turn the corner. While he is still extremely young and his slider and curveball could use some work, Foley has mid-rotation potential and could even follow the Daniel Mengden fast-track. He ranks at #84 on BA’s list.

That’s all for today. The MLB All-Star Game will start at 5 PM PST on FOX. Chris Sale and the American League will look to claim home-field advantage for the World Series against Johnny Cueto and the National League. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A’s fans!