Javier Báez will be participating in the MLB Home Run Derby during next week’s MLB All-Star festivities at Nationals Park in Washington.
When done correctly, the Home Run Derby, can be one of the most entertaining events during Major League Baseball’s All-Star festivities and there may be no more entertaining players in all of baseball than the derby’s newest participant, Chicago Cubs’ second baseman Javier Báez.
Kyle Schwarber is also a part of the Derby, making it two Cubs fan favorites in the event, but this is about the more exciting of the two.
With the festivities in Washington under a week away, Monday evening’s Home Run Derby has been looking for some much-needed star power with the news that the last two winners, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, will not be participating at Nationals Park.
Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper, who was controversially selected to start the All-Star Game on Tuesday despite hitting below .220 for the year, is expected to participate in front of his hometown fans and surprising Dodgers rookie slugger Max Muncy has also announced he will join in the fun. Outside of that, no other participants had been announced until word came down that Báez will take part in his first Home Run Derby.
The 25-year-old Báez will also join his 2016 co-NLCS MVP, Jon Lester, and catcher Willson Contreras in the actual All-Star Game, his first-ever selection, on Tuesday night and has certainly earned the right to participate in both events. He’s long been entertaining in the field with his crazy range and entertaining tags and is also a treat to watch on the basepaths as well with the home steals and the epic slides and anything else he can do to entertain the North Side faithful.
What’s scary for the rest of the league is that Báez is having the best season of his young career at the plate. Heading into Tuesday night’s game with the San Francisco Giants, he’s hitting .292, nearly 30 points above his career average and already has 17 home runs, which is just six short of the career-high 23 he hit a season ago and is currently tied for eighth in the National League.
Javier Bàez lives to entertain and he’ll certainly get the chance to do just that come Monday night. Think he might get a little amped up for that?
How do you think Javier Baez will fare in the 2018 MLB Home Run Derby? Please feel free to join in the conversation in the comments section below and be sure to keep up with all the latest news and notes at our Major League Baseball hub.