The Phillies may only have one All-Star in 2018, but Aaron Nola won’t be the only guy in DC next week wearing red pinstripes. Rhys Hoskins, 2017’s rookie home run record-setter, will be competing in the Home Run Derby.
This is excellent news. Hoskins hit 18 home runs over 50 games in 2017, but hit his first 17 in just 33 games, which is an MLB record. He hasn’t had the exact same pop in 2018 (I think the balls have been changed again, don’t @ me), but the Home Run Derby is his chance to shine.
Here are the other participants in this year’s Derby.
BREAKING: Here are the eight competitors in this year's T-Mobile Home Run Derby:— Yahoo Sports MLB (@MLByahoosports) July 12, 2018
- Bryce Harper
- Jesus Aguilar
- Max Muncy
- Alex Bregman
- Kyle Schwarber
- Javier Baez
- Freddie Freeman
- Rhys Hoskins pic.twitter.com/OLQi19v7TR
I am 100% here for Harper and Schwarber (and Hoskins!) hitting bombs for a few hours. Yes, yes, yes.
They’ve moved to a bracket format, so Hoskins will only be facing first baseman Jesus Aguilar in the Derby, at least in the first round. Aguilar plays for the Brewers and has hit 23 homers to Hoskins’ 14. But I think Rhys has a chance. The Home Run Derby is unpredictable!
I get why people don’t like the Home Run Derby (boring, repetitive, etc), but I also think those people are wrong. They get eight of the game’s most talented (and most willing) power hitters together and tell them to hit home runs for two and a half hours. Home runs, one of the most exciting parts of the game! The excitement is like a wave — you just have to ride it. You start out really psyched, and then after about 45 minutes you are used to the home runs and they don’t thrill you. But if you stay with it, you’ll come back around and get excited again. It’s the beauty of the Derby!
We’ll have a Derby thread and a recap of Rhys’ performance, so come back on Monday, July 16 to give your comments and cheer him on.