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The mid-summer classic is not complete without the fan-favorite Homerun Derby. But to make the event interesting, the right players must be selected to compete.
Here are five players that should be and need to be featured in this year’s battle of the big bats.
1. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami
Stanton is a monster. The Marlins outfielder has hit 3 of the 5 longest homeruns in baseball this season, including this 484-foot bomb to left-center field last month.
Stanton leads the league with 24 home runs.
Without him, this derby shouldn’t exist.
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2. Joey Gallo, Texas
Gallo is by far the least-qualified player on this list, but his power is undeniable. The Rangers hyped power prospect has hit 5 home runs in his first 14 big league games — all of them over 420 feet.
This dinger off of lefty Clayton Kershaw is sure to boast his confidence.
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3. Bryce Harper, Washington
At the ripe age of 22, Harper is simply one of baseball’s best players — not best young players. He’s hit 22 home runs in 215 at bats this season.
Harper’s father was his pitcher in the 2013 derby. But he suffered an injury, which the slugger says might keep them both from competing.
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4. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles
Pujols isn’t the power hitter he once was, but he is leading the American League with 19 home runs.
There’s plenty of youth in place to compete in this year’s derby. How about a veteran and future Hall of Famer?
Plus, that swing is too smooth to exclude.
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5. Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
Who is Todd Frazier? That’s a question many people might ask should he be included, but it’s one that needs answering.
The 29-year-old is in his 5th season with the Reds and needs just 7 more home runs to match his career high of 29 set last season.
He’s the hottest bat out there, having hit two home runs in each of his last two games — including this walk-off on Wednesday.
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