Home Run Derby Slump: Fact or Fiction?

July 05, 2010- Milwaukee, WI. Miller Park..Milwaukee Brewers Corey Hart  continued his hit streak to 20 games today, Hart had 2 hits including a double off of Giants pitcher Dan Ruzler..Milwaukee Brewers lost to the San Francisco Giants 1-6..Mike McGinnis / CSM.

Over the past few years, we’ve heard a lot about some of the league’s stars not wanting to compete in the home run derby, for fear that trying to hit home runs will do damage to their “normal” swing.  Some guys, like Prince Fielder, don’t worry as much because they more or less go up to bat with a home run swing every time.  When it comes to guys like Corey Hart, though, who has credited his recent success to a swing adjustment, a little worry begins to seep in.

Tonight will be the 9th time the Brewers have a representative in the home run derby, and they’ve had a played in each of the past three contests.  Below is a list of every derby participant the Brewers have had, along with their home run totals for the first and second halves of the season.  Note that the halves are determined by the All-Star Break, which means in most cases that the player played in more games in the first “half.”

2009: Prince Fielder
First Half: 22
Second Half: 24
Difference: +2

2008: Ryan Braun
First Half: 23
Second Half:
14
Difference: -9

(Read more for the rest)

2007: Prince Fielder
First Half: 29
Second Half: 21
Difference: -8

2005: Carlos Lee
First Half: 22
Second Half: 10
Difference: -12

2003: Richie Sexson
First Half: 25
Second Half: 20
Difference: -5

2002: Richie Sexson
First Half: 19
Second Half: 10
Difference: -9

1999: Jeromy Burnitz
First Half: 26
Second Half: 7 (only played in 44 games)
Difference: -19

1996: Greg Vaughn
First Half: 24
Second Half: 17
Difference: -7

So, what does this mean for Hart?  It’d probably be foolish to think this is a trend that means anything, but I’m not confident in his ability to hit as many home runs in the second half of the season, regardless of the contest.  At this point, I’m just interested to see if he’s still in a Brewers uniform on Friday.

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