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2011 Home Run Derby Contestants: Matt Holliday Surges After Announcement

When the 2011 Home Run Derby's contestants were announced the selection by team captains Prince Fielder and David Ortiz of two second basemen—Rickie Weeks and Robinson Cano, respectively—was greeted with enough cockeyed glances and chatter to let another odd decision slip by unnoticed: Fielder had selected a St. Louis Cardinals outfielder to play for the National League's derby detachment, but he hadn't chosen the Cardinals outfielder who happened to be leading the National League in home runs: He'd picked Matt Holliday.

Lance Berkman's 23 home runs were once even more eye-opening relative to Holliday's totals, which until recently were flirting with the single digits after a series of injuries sapped his playing time, but a lucky thing happened for Fielder, just in case he was worried about earning even more internet-bound cockeyed glances: Matt Holliday started hitting a ton of home runs. Holliday's hit three home runs in his last two games, and six of his 13 on the season since coming back from his stint on the disabled list in the middle of June.

He's still not the Cardinal anyone expected at the Home Run Derby, but if Holliday keeps hitting them at this pace he might steal some attention away from his captain. Also participating in the Home Run Derby this year are Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista in the American League, with Matt Kemp rounding things out in the NL.