The All-Star break in MLB is quickly approaching: in fact, the festivities will start this weekend with the Futures Game.
The All-Star Game itself will be on Tuesday, but before that, the 2022 Home Run Derby will be an electrifying and exciting way to watch the most powerful hitters smash baseballs for a while.
According to an MLB insider, the Home Run Derby roster is shaping up to be very impressive.
Shaping up to be an incredible Derby field:
Alonso. Soto. Schwarber. Pujols. RAJ.
Perhaps Stanton. Waiting on Julio Rodriguez, possibly. Maybe Will Smith.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 12, 2022
Pete Alonso of the New York Mets will defend the titles he won in 2019 and 2021, the last two editions (the pandemic forced the league to cancel the event in 2020).
When he is on, few players can hit more homers than the Polar Bear.
Alonso Can Make History, But Will Have Some Competition
If he wins, he will become the first player in history to take the victory in three straight editions of the Derby; and will join Ken Griffey Jr. as the only three-time winners.
But he will have some fierce competition in the way.
If New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton participates, he will immediately become the co-favorite to win alongside Alonso.
He routinely posts the highest exit velocities in the league, and is a past winner of the event.
Julio Rodriguez is a leading candidate to win the Rookie of the Year award in the American League, and Schwarber can get hot in a hurry.
Even Pujols is a threat: he may be 42, but there is still plenty of power in his right-handed bat.
We will need to see the final roster, but as of now, the collection of talent is impressive.