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Stats Corner: Pirates' Alvarez has more pop than Home Run Derby foes

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By David Golebiewski
Saturday, July 13, 2013, 11:06 p.m.

Pedro Alvarez earned his first All-Star Game selection in 2013, becoming the first third baseman to represent the Pirates in the Midsummer Classic since Freddy Sanchez in 2006 at PNC Park.

Alvarez, who trails just Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez among National League hitters with 24 home runs, also will swing for the fences Monday during the Home Run Derby in New York.

Alvarez, who attended high school in the Bronx, is a prime candidate to bring home the hardware, considering his clouts have traveled farther — and left the yard faster — than nearly all other derby participants.

Only Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes bests Alvarez in Standard Home Run Distance, according to ESPN Home Run Tracker. Standard Home Run Distance factors variables such as wind, temperature and altitude, so it allows for an equal comparison between hitters like Alvarez, who toil in pitcher's parks, and guys like Michael Cuddyer, who take mile-high swings at Coors Field.

Alvarez's homers have traveled off the bat at an average speed of nearly 106 MPH, leading all derby contestants.

Going the distance

Pedro Alvarez has hit some of the longest home runs in MLB this season.

Batter HR distance* Speed#

Yoenis Cespedes 408.5 105.2

Pedro Alvarez 406.2 105.5

Michael Cuddyer 403.1 104.2

David Wright 402.2 103.4

Chris Davis 400.9 103.9

Bryce Harper 400.9 104.7

Robinson Cano 396.1 103.4

Prince Fielder 394.8 102.4

MLB Avg. 394.2 103.4

* — Average distance in feet# — Average speed of ball off bat in mph

Source: ESPN Home Run Tracker

The Bucs' third baseman also has a better chance of denting Citi Field's scoreboard than his Home Run Derby competition. Alvarez leads the majors in “No Doubt” home runs, which clear the outfield fence by at least 20 feet vertically and land at least 50 feet past the wall.

Nothing to chance

When he hits a home run, Pedro Alvarez clears the wall with ease more than anyone.

Batter No doubt HRs

Pedro Alvarez 9

Chris Davis 8

Mark Trumbo 8

Miguel Cabrera 8

Mark Reynolds 8

Edwin Encarnacion 8

Jose Bautista 8

David Golebiewski is a freelance writer.

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