The Philadelphia Phillies will find out who will represent them in the MLB All-Star Game Sunday evening. In all likelihood, they’ll have just one representative on July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It doesn’t appear they’ll even get one in the Home Run Derby.
According to Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic, neither of the two obvious candidates for the event on the Phillies – Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins – have been asked to compete.
Hoskins competed in the event for the first time last year, but was eliminated in the semifinals by Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber. Hoskins has 19 home runs in 2019 and 71 since breaking into the league in August of 2017. The 26-year-old told Montemurro that he would “1,000 percent” agree to compete in the event for a second consecutive season if asked to.
Though there’s still an outside chance he’s selected as the Phillies lone All-Star, it appears that for the first time since 2014, Harper won’t be part of the All-Star Game. After a rather tumultuous offseason that saw him remain a free-agent until March – and with his first child on the way – it appears that Harper is looking forward to having a few days to regroup with his wife, Kayla.
“I did it and won it, so it’s done,” said Harper, who won the event last year at Nationals Park. “The next day my body kind of collapsed, but it was fun.”
A year ago, in what turned out to be his final season with the Nationals, Harper put on a show, defeating Schwarber to win the Home Run Derby. Perhaps he’ll compete again in 2026 – when the All-Star Game comes to Philadelphia – but there isn’t much incentive for Harper to paricipate in 2019, especially if he’s not going to be in Cleveland to begin with.
The Phillies have not had a player win the Home Run Derby since Ryan Howard did so at PNC Park in Pittsburgh in 2006. That year, Howard became the second consecutive Phillie to win the Home Run Derby, as Bobby Abreu put on a clinic at Comerica Park in Detroit the prior year.
Thus far, five players are confirmed to be competing in the 2019 Home Run Derby: Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell. Additionally, Venezuelan baseball reporter Daniel Alvarez Montes says that Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. will also take part in the Home Run Derby, though that’s yet to be confirmed. Eight total players are required under the current format.
The Home Run Derby will take place on Monday July 8, the night before the All-Star Game.
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