Johnson of the Charlotte Knights is the only active IL player with at least 20 home runs this season, and he was the winner of the 2010 Triple-A Home Run Derby held in Lehigh Valley. LaPorta of the Columbus Clippers is among the most popular players in Triple-A Baseball, having received more votes during online fan All-Star voting than anyone else. Fans in Buffalo however could be partial to their own Pascucci, who leads the Bisons with 13 long balls this season and has 51 homers over the last three seasons with the Herd. Hessman and Pascucci are first and second respectively on the list of active career Minor League home run leaders.
Pacific Coast League
Round Rock's Butler has nearly eclipsed his career-high for home runs in a season already this year. The Triple-A classification leader is Hessman of Oklahoma City. The former Buffalo Bisons infielder has crushed 25 long balls in his return to the U.S. in 2012 after playing last season in Japan. The 280-pound Jimenez of Tacoma will be one of two left-handed sluggers in this year's competition, along with Johnson.
The 2012 Triple-A Home Run Derby will be preceded by a Celebrity Home Run Derby that will include Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, and actor Nick Bakay.
The Triple-A Home Run Derby will be broadcast live in many Time Warner Cable served cities throughout the country. Called by "The Voice of the Bisons," Ben Wagner, and Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer, Duke McGuire, fans will be able to catch the Home Run Derby live on Time Warner Cable Sports in locations including Austin, Buffalo, Charlotte, Dallas, Durham, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Rochester, San Diego, Syracuse and Tampa. Check local listings for details.
IL Player, Team -- Age / 2012 HR Total / Career High HR (Year) / Career to Date
Dan Johnson, Charlotte -- 32 / 21 / 37 (2010) / 246
Matt LaPorta, Columbus -- 27/ 16 / 24 (2009) /103
Valentino Pascucci, Buffalo -- 33/ 13/ 34 (2007)/ 247
PCL Player, Team -- Age / 2012 HR Total / Career High HR (Year) / Career to Date
Joey Butler, Round Rock -- 26 / 12 / 14 (2011) / 52
Mike Hessman, Oklahoma City -- 34/ 25/ 39 (2008)/ 392
Luis Jimenez, Tacoma -- 30/ 13/ 23 (2007)/ 134