MLB revealed the eight players that will be participating in next week’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park. The contestants are (in order of seed) Mark Trumbo, Todd Frazier, Adam Duvall, Robinson Cano, Giancarlo Stanton, Wil Myers, Carlos Gonzalez, and Corey Seager:
— MLB (@MLB) July 7, 2016
Frazier and Stanton are not on the All-Star rosters, but MLB invited them anyway. Frazier is the defending Home Run Derby champion and Stanton is the best home run hitter in the sport (two examples of Stanton’s crazy power from two days ago).
It’s a solid list, but one that could be much better (or at least feature names the average fan wants to see more). Superstars such as Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Yoenis Cespedes, and David Ortiz made it known recently that they turned down invites. Here’s what Harper had to say about it, according to our own Alex Putterman:
Bryce Harper on skipping the HR Derby: “I just don’t want to, plain and simple. … It’s a fun event, I just don’t care for it.” — Alex Putterman (@AlexPutterman) July 6, 2016
Pitchers such as Madison Bumgarner, Jake Arrieta, Noah Syndergaard, Jose Fernandez, and Adam Wainwright had wanted to compete in the Home Run Derby — or a Home Run Derby; there had been talk of a pitchers-only one — but the MLBPA nixed that whole thing.
So, what we have is still what should be an enjoyable group of contestants, but one on paper that will leave many fans wanting more. The field of eight does include three players from Dave Toebner’s dream Home Run Derby bracket, though.