Home Run Derby 2011 Preview: Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox watches his solo home run in the fifth inning as Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles catches at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Adrian Gonzalez is quite familiar with Chase Field, having played 45 games there as a member of the San Diego Padres. How will that affect his Derby performance?

It's surprising that the Red Sox' Adrian Gonzalez, who has hit 30 or more home runs for five straight seasons and who is well on the way to accomplishing that mark again, has never participated in an All-Star Game Home Run Derby.

The surprise is even greater considering that Gonzalez has been one of the top home run hitters over that span, playing in one of the worst home run parks in the major leagues, Petco Park. From 2006 through 2010 -- the years he played fulltime in Petco -- Gonzalez averaged about 11 home runs a year in his cavernous home park, 21 home runs a year on the road. Though he averaged 32 home runs a season over those five years, had he played in a better home run park, he might have averaged well over 40.

So far this season, Gonzalez is on pace for about 33 home runs -- about what he's done over the past five years. But he got off to a slow start, hitting just one in April; he's hit 16 in 62 games since then, hinting he might have another 40-dinger year in him.

It's in this context that A-Gon hits Chase Field tonight; in 45 games played there as a member of the Padres, he has hit 13 home runs, the most in any park outside Petco and Coors Field. We could be in for quite a show from him Monday evening, especially if they decide to keep the roof open.

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