Every team's best Home Run Derby option

June 16th, 2022

Every time I see a particularly mammoth home run hit in a Major League game, I always think, “Man, it’d be great to see that guy in a Home Run Derby.” The Derby only has eight competitors. But you find yourself, sometimes, wanting to see everyone in it. 

Can you imagine if the Derby were like the All-Star Game, in that we had to have a representative from every team? Sure, that would probably make it last way too long. But it’s a nice thought. Thus, let’s look at each team’s ideal Home Run Derby participant.

(Note: All home run totals are as of the start of Wednesday's slate.)


Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
2022 HR total: 15
He might not be tearing apart the league this year like we thought entering the season – or like he did last year – but he can still launch the ball like few others in the sport. He’s never won one of these … but his dad has.

Orioles: Trey Mancini
2022 HR total: 6
Mancini has never participated in an All-Star Game, but he has been in the Home Run Derby before – he finished second to Pete Alonso in 2021. In what might be one of his last stretches in an Orioles jersey, maybe we give him another shot.

Rays: Randy Arozarena
2022 HR total: 7
The Rays do not have any double-digit home run hitters yet this year, but it would be fun to see Arozarena, an incredible physical talent, try to recreate his performance from October 2020 for an evening.

Red Sox: Rafael Devers
2022 HR total: 15
Did you know that no Red Sox player has been in the Derby since David Ortiz? Devers has hit the longest home run for the Red Sox this year, and Trevor Story had his turn last year (while still with the Rockies).

Yankees: Aaron Judge
2022 HR total: 24
The second-easiest call on this board. He won in 2017 and it just won’t feel right if he isn’t there. Also: Sorry, Giancarlo Stanton, you’re good at these too!


Guardians: José Ramírez
2022 HR total: 16
He has always turned down the opportunity to be a part of it in the past, but it’d be a great way to raise that Q rating.

Royals: Bobby Witt Jr.
2022 HR total: 8
The guy is a five-tool player, and this would be a tremendous showcase for one of the game’s top young talents.

Tigers: Miguel Cabrera
2022 HR total: 3
Wouldn’t it be a blast to see him out there launching some? He might actually be the best hitter the Tigers have right now, too.

Twins: Byron Buxton
2022 HR total: 18
There’s always an injury concern, but if he’s healthy, a Derby appearance could be a way to show off another thing he can do.

White Sox: Luis Robert
2022 HR total: 6
They say you hit home runs in the Derby with your legs, but if anyone could hit 30 with their arms, it might be Robert.


Angels: Shohei Ohtani
2022 HR total: 13
It feels weird not to pick Mike Trout here, but Ohtani didn’t quite get to live up to the hype in last year’s Derby. This could be a chance to make good.

Astros: Yordan Alvarez
2022 HR total: 17
Alex Bregman has been a part of it in the past, but Alvarez could showcase his prodigious power to a global audience.

Athletics: Sean Murphy
2022 HR total: 7
He had a 452-foot blast earlier this year, and it’s not that easy to find candidates from the A’s, I’ll confess.

Mariners: Julio Rodríguez
2022 HR total: 8
The speed showed up first this year, but now the power is coming, too. It’d be fantastic to see the current MLB stolen base leader win the Home Run Derby.

Rangers: Corey Seager
2022 HR total: 12
Adolis García and Kole Calhoun could also be options. Joey Gallo took part last year before his trade to the Yankees, which feels like a long, long time ago.


Braves: Ronald Acuña Jr.
2022 HR total: 6
Matt Olson was in last year’s, but we haven’t seen Acuña since 2019.

Marlins: Jazz Chisholm, Jr.
2022 HR total: 13
Like Rodríguez, it’d be a blast to see a speedster launching balls deep into the Dodger Stadium night.

Mets: Pete Alonso
2022 HR total: 18
Can he defend his title and become the second player to win three Home Run Derbies? (The other is Ken Griffey Jr.)

Nationals: Juan Soto
2022 HR total: 13
One of these years he’s going to win one. Last year he actually said it made his swing better!

Phillies: Bryce Harper
2022 HR total: 15
Harper hasn’t been in it since he won in 2018, but of all the potential guys on this team to pick from, he’s still the one who would excite the crowd the most.


Brewers: Rowdy Tellez
2022 HR total: 10
There probably should have been someone named “Rowdy” in the Home Run Derby years ago.

Cardinals: Tyler O’Neill
2022 HR total: 3
He might not have the most homers on this team, but have you seen this guy? He could chop down a palm tree with only his arms.

Cubs: Patrick Wisdom
2022 HR total: 12
The longtime Minor League veteran would be an instant sentimental favorite at the Derby.

Pirates: Daniel Vogelbach
2022 HR total: 7
There wouldn’t be a fan in the stands not cheering for Vogelbach. He just looks like the Home Run Derby.

Reds: Joey Votto
2022 HR total: 5
If you mic’d up Votto, you’d have viral moment after viral moment, all night.


Diamondbacks: Christian Walker
2022 HR total: 16
One of the more underrated home run hitters in the game, he’s the one guy who currently ranks in the top 10 in the Majors who nobody knows about.

Dodgers: Mookie Betts
2022 HR total: 17
Wouldn’t this be fun to see? It’d be like when Michael Jordan was part of the three-point contest.

Giants: Joc Pederson
2022 HR total: 13
Did you know that Pederson has the second-most Home Run Derby homers ever? (Behind Alonso, of course.)

Padres: Manny Machado
2022 HR total: 10
Machado was last a part of this contest in 2015, when he seemed like a different type of player entirely. He’s even better now.

Rockies: C.J. Cron
2022 HR total: 14
The ball won’t fly as well as it does at Coors, but that might not matter for Cron.