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Yasiel Puig doesn't hit a single homer in his first MLB Home Run Derby

Mike Oz
Big League Stew
The Gillette Home Run Derby

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 14: National League All-Star Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats during the Gillette Home Run Derby at Target Field on July 14, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

If you're reading this, you most likely hit as many home runs as Yasiel Puig did Monday night at the MLB Home Run Derby.

The Los Angeles Dodgers star, participating in the Home Run Derby for the first time, put up a big ol' goose egg. He was shut out. Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Nada. 

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Mr. Puig, you obviously need some Gatorade. (Getty Images)

Mr. Puig, you obviously need some Gatorade. (Getty Images)

We thought Puig would put on a show, it's in his nature. But we didn't think it would be the sad Puig show. Puig looked uncomfortable at the plate, with no long-ball rhythm. The best ball he hit was his final out, a foul ball that he pulled too far into left field.

The last Home Run Derby competitor to get shut out was Robinson Cano in 2012. As coincidence would have it, Cano's dad, former big-league pitcher Jose Cano, was the one pitching to Puig on Monday, just like he did Robinson in 2012.

That's one of the factors that might have contributed to Puig's poor showing. Puig didn't have a dedicated batting practice pitcher arranged for the derby, like many players do. Todd Frazier and Brian Dozier, for instance, had their brothers pitching to them. Other players had their coaches with them.

Puig was matched up with the elder Cano on Monday. Because of the rain at Target Field, the two of them only had a five-pitch batting-practice session together during the Home Run Derby.

You may also recall that after last year's Home Run Derby, winner Yoenis Cespedes said his countryman Puig, then a hot-shot rookie, wouldn't do well in the derby format.

"This is not the type of competition he would be able to excel at," Cespedes said.

None of this is to make excuses for Puig's performance. But it does help explain it. The second-year Cuban outfielder is a lightning rod for criticism. So you know his haters are going to eat this for dessert all week.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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