NO HARPER IN HR DERBY TILL 2018 IN D.C.:
Harper told ESPN’s SportsCenter recently that the Derby just really isn’t his thing. He hasn’t participated in the HR Derby since 2013, when he came in second.
“I just don’t feel like it’s something that I really want to do,” Harper told ESPN.
“Next year I will do it in D.C. It’s for the fans, and I get that, totally understand the fanbase of it and things like that. I’m excited as a fan to watch [Aaron] Judge and [Giancarlo] Stanton go at it. Two of the best power hitters in the game.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun to see.”
But next year, he’s in.... as long as he makes the All-Star Game:
Bryce Harper says, if he makes the 2018 All-Star Game, he will participate in the home run derby at Nats Park.— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) July 10, 2017
“Absolutely next year I will be in it in D.C. in the nation’s capital and it will be a lot of fun to do it in front of my hometown crowd.”
So no Bryce or any other Nationals are participating tonight, but as Harper said, there are a number of big power bats taking part in the 2017 version of the Derby.
I discussed this with a friend’s eight-year-old son last night who assured me that the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton will have the home field advantage and will take this one.
We’re going with Aaron Judge, who set a NY Yankees’ record for the most home runs by a rookie, hitting his 30th in his 82nd game, topping Yankees’ legend Joe DiMaggio’s record of 29 in 138 games set back in 1936.
Judge finished the first half with a .329/.448/.691 line, 13 doubles, and 30 HRs in 84 games and 366 PAs, over which he’s been worth 5.5 fWAR.
DARK HORSE CANDIDATE?:
Dodgers’ rookie Cody Bellinger (25 HRs) has the third-most home runs of any of the participants, behind only Stanton (26) and Judge (30). Will LA’s rookie 1B/OF shock everyone and take the crown?
HOW TO WATCH THE HR DERBY:
The 2017 Home Run Derby is being shown live at 8:00 PM on ESPN
THE BIG QUESTION?:
How many home runs will hit Red Grooms’ psychedelic home run sculpture?