2015 Triple-A All-Star Game Home Run Derby
The 2015 Triple-A Baseball All-Star Game Home Run Derby took place on Monday, July 13 from Omaha, Nebraska and Charlotte’s Matt Davidson competed against five other Triple-A players and two high school players. Davidson was the first Knights player since 2012 to participate in the Triple-A All-Star Game Home Run Derby. Slugger Dan Johnson competed in the 2012 edition in Buffalo, NY. Other Knights to take part in the Triple-A All-Star Game Home Run Derby over the years were: Jim Thome (1993), Russ Morman (1997), Joe Crede (2002), and Dayan Viciedo (2011).
Davidson won the 2013 edition as a member of the Reno Aces, and was competing for the chance to become the first Knights player to ever win the derby.
Although no Knights have ever won the derby, players who have played for the Knights have won it over the course of its 28-year history. Let’s take a look:
In 2000, former Knights slugger Luis Raven won the contest as a member of Calgary in Rochester, NY. It was just a year earlier that Raven donned the Charlotte jersey — and had tons of success. Raven, a native of Venezuela, was a big part of Charlotte’s Governors’ Cup Championship in 1999 –the club’s first year with the Chicago White Sox. That season, he hit .282 with 33 home runs and 125 RBIs — the most in a season by a Knights player.
In 2010, two years before he donned the Knights jersey, slugger Dan Johnson won the Triple-A All-Star Game Home Run Derby at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA. Johnson, who was a member of the Durham Bulls in 2010, hit .267 with 28 home runs and 85 RBIs for the Knights in 2012. Johnson competed in the 2012 derby in Buffalo, NY as a member of the Knights, but did not beat hometown favorite Valentino Pascucci.
In 2011, Stefan Gartrell, who previously spent time with the Knights — including 2009, 2010, and part of 2011, competed and won the 2011 Home Run Derby in Salt Lake City as a member of the Gwinnett Braves. Gartrell had a big 2010 campaign with the Knights as he clubbed 27 home runs and drove home 80 runs.
Two years before he would compete as a member of the Knights, Matt Davidson won the 2013 edition in front of his hometown fans. Davidson, a member of the Reno Aces, who hosted the game, had a busy 24 hours that year. The California native was named Futures Game MVP the night before the 2013 derby (Sunday). A day later (Monday) he won the contest.
Davidson put on a solid performance this year. The 24-year-old entered the competition tied for third in the IL in home runs with 14. In round one, he slugged four, which put him fourth among the eight participants. One round later, Davidson began to heat up. He ripped five home runs and finished his performance with nine — which was good for second at that point.
Davidson remained second until Norfolk’s Dariel Alvarez slugged eight home runs in round two, which was good for 13.
Round 1 HR Derby results:
O’Brien (13), Alvarez (7), Aguilar (6), Davidson (4), Bohm (3), Romak (3) Kalina (2), Decker (0).
Scores combined from Round 1 & Round 2:
Alvarez (15), O’Brien (15), Romak (13), Aguilar (9), Davidson (9), Bohm (9), Decker (6), Kalina (3)
Norfolk’s Dariel Alvarez & Reno’s Peter O’Brien advanced to the finals.
And the winner is: Dariel Alvarez, who hit six in the final round. Peter O’Brien finished with five.