Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto will participate in the MLB’s Home Run Derby, which is being held at Coors Field this year. The event will air on Monday, July 12 at 8 PM on ESPN.
Soto announced the news on his personal Twitter.
— Juan José Soto Pacheco (@JuanSoto25_) July 7, 2021
Soto will be one of eight players to take part including Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini. Mancini returned to Baltimore this season after being diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer last year.
2021 Home Run Derby participants
Rockies SS Trevor Story
Angels DH Shohei Ohtani
Mets 1B Pete Alonso
Orioles OF Trey Mancini
Royals C Salvador Perez
A’s 1B Matt Olson
Rangers OF Joey Gallo
Nationals OF Juan Soto
The Angels’ Ohtani is the presumptive favorite to win as he leads the league with 31 home runs (as of 5 PM 7/7) and a .692 slugging percentage.
Soto is batting .277 this season with 10 home runs and 39 RBIs this season. His .395 on base percentage is fifth-best in the MLB. He’s drawn the seventh-most walks in the majors this season with 51.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 7, 2021
Last season, Soto won his first Silver Slugger Award and led all batters in on-base percentage (.490), slugging percentage (.695), and on-base plus slugging (1.185). He also finished 5th in NL MVP voting and was named to the All-MLB First Team.
Soto will be the first National to participate in the Home Run Derby since Bryce Harper won the competition in 2018.
Soto will be joined in Denver by Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber who were all named to their first All-Star Games as reserves on July 4.
The NL reserves and pitchers are ready for Colorado! pic.twitter.com/GsTLADqqh2
— MLB (@MLB) July 4, 2021
“It’s like a dream for every player to come to the All-Star Game to be around all those stars, and famous people,” Soto said according to Federal Baseball. “It’s going to be a great experience to be out there and have fun with all those guys.”
Schwarber will not be participating in the derby despite being fifth in the league in home runs with 25. The left fielder, who at one point hit 16 home runs in 18 games, is nursing a “significant” hamstring strain. Before getting hurt, Schwarber said he would skip the vent.
“I think the best thing to do is probably let it pass and rest up and look forward to the second half,” Schwarber told ESPN.
“The biggest thing is you’re going to get sore, after the fact. You’re taking almost 13-15 minutes of full swings. You never do that in a day [of] your daily routine in baseball. That’s just torturing yourself. It’s definitely taxing on the body.”
The All-Star Game will be held on Tuesday, July 13 at 7:30 PM on FOX.
Headline photo: Ian Oland/RMNB
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