This year’s MLB Home Run Derby, set for Monday night at Nationals Park, will feature an unusual lineup. None of the top five players on the home run leaderboard will be there. Neither will any past champions. And, for some reason, there are two Chicago Cubs and only one American Leaguer.

Lacking home run leaders

Each of the past 10 derbies featured at least one of baseball’s top five home run hitters — until this year.

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That doesn’t mean this year’s derby is destined to be a dud, but it doesn’t look like the best lineup MLB could have come up with. To quantify that, we came up with four categories in which to grade the players: home runs, exit velocity, launch angle and distance. A better derby participant will hit more home runs harder, higher and farther.

Here’s this year’s lineup and a visualization of their home runs, plus their average angle, speed and distance:

2018 Home Run Derby lineup

Jesús Aguilar

Brewers

First derby

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
24 30.3 103.8 393.9

Bryce Harper

Nationals

Second derby

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
23 30 106.4 408.7

Max Muncy

Dodgers

First derby

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
22 31.2 104.1 401.1

Alex Bregman

Astros

First derby

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
20 28.2 100.1 383.8

Javier Báez

Cubs

First derby

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
19 27.8 105.4 403.6

Kyle Schwarber

Cubs

First derby

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
18 26.3 107.3 400.7

Freddie Freeman

Braves

First derby

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
16 30.9 104.2 400.2

Rhys Hoskins

Phillies

First derby

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
14 29.2 105.1 393.4

On paper, Nationals star Bryce Harper looks like the most promising slugger in Monday’s contest. He also has the advantage of being the only player who has been in the derby before.

So who should be in the Home Run Derby? Unfortunately, many of the best candidates declined to participate. Past winners Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton passed this year, as did MLB homer co-leaders J.D. Martinez and José Ramírez.

Six players who said ‘no’

José Ramírez

Indians

Declined

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
29 28.3 101.5 385.2

J.D. Martinez

Red Sox

Declined

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
29 28.6 105.1 397

Aaron Judge

Yankees

Declined

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
25 28.3 107.9 397

Francisco Lindor

Indians

Declined

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
25 27.7 104.2 400

Mookie Betts

Red Sox

Declined

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
23 27 103.7 403.4

Giancarlo Stanton

Yankees

Declined

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
23 25.1 108.3 402.2

There are less obvious players who also could put on a show. The Rangers’ Nomar Mazara (15 homers) has an exit velocity on par with Judge’s — and his average home run travels 20 feet farther. And Mazara’s teammate Joey Gallo has earned a reputation for hitting the ball a mile, but he won’t be in this year’s derby, either.

A few dark horse sluggers would have made the show more interesting: Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani has only hit seven home runs this year, but it’s about time a pitcher makes the derby. And Chicago White Sox outfielder Daniel Palka has hit some monster bombs in his rookie season.

Seven players who could make it interesting

Joey Gallo

Rangers

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
22 28.1 108.5 409.7

Brian Dozier

Twins

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
16 34.3 98.9 377.7

Scooter Gennett

Reds

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
16 31.6 99 376

Nomar Mazara

Rangers

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
15 26.8 107.8 416.8

Daniel Palka

White Sox

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
12 27.2 109.3 411.1

Franchy Cordero

Padres

injured

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
7 27.9 111.4 439.3

Shohei Ohtani

Angels

HRs Launch angle Exit velocity Distance
7 27.7 107 417.7

So, once again, MLB won’t give us a pitcher in the Home Run Derby, and a lot of other interesting names will miss out, too. There’s always next year.

About this story

Data from Baseball Savant. Some players had a small number of home runs with incomplete data, which are not included in the 3D views: Jesus Aguilar (2), Nomar Mazara (2), Joey Gallo (2), Francisco Lindor (1), Aaron Judge (1), Scooter Gennett (1), Giancarlo Stanton (1), J.D. Martinez (1), Franchy Cordero (1), and Jose Ramirez (1).

Originally published July 13, 2018.

Photo credits: Jesus Aguilar (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press), Bryce Harper (Alex Brandon/Associated Press), Max Muncy (John McCoy/Getty Images), Alex Bregman (David J. Phillip/Associated Press), Javier Baez (David Banks/Getty Images), Kyle Schwarber (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images), Freddie Freeman (Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports), Rhys Hoskins (Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports), José Ramírez (Tony Dejak/Associted Press), J.D. Martinez (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press), Aaron Judge (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press), Francisco Lindor (Jason Miller/Getty Images), Mookie Betts (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press), Giancarlo Stanton (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images), Joey Gallo (Tom Pennington/Getty Images), Brian Dozier (Jim Mone/Associated Press), Nomar Mazara (Carlos Osorio/Associated Press), Scooter Gennett (Ron Schwane/Getty Images), Daniel Palka (Andy Lyons/Getty Images), Franchy Cordero (Tony L. Sandis, The Washington Post), Shohei Ohtani (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images).

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