As we inch closer to the Midsummer Classic, the basic fun fact of this All-Star Game becomes more forefront in the mind: This thing is in Colorado. The T-Mobile Home Run Derby is going to be ridiculous. I have always thought they should at least consider having the Home Run Derby in Denver every year, no matter where the actual game is. This is certainly a bad idea for a variety of reasons, but you can understand the appeal of it.
That’s yet another reason to appreciate this year’s. So today, we look at the player from each team who would be the ideal Home Run Derby participant. Obviously, not everyone here will get to be a part of it. But they’d all be terrific. And hey, who’s up for a 30-player tournament at Coors Field? The more the merrier!
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Orioles: Trey Mancini
Every Home Run Derby needs an unabashed fan favorite, and there is no more ideal nominee for this position than Mancini.
Rays: Randy Arozarena
He’s not the top home run hitter on this team, but he’s the player everyone remembers from last postseason, and we certainly know he can get on a hot streak.
Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton
Injuries or not, it is likely that no person has ever hit a ball harder and farther than Stanton. (And yes, Aaron Judge is also an acceptable answer here.)
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Cleveland: José Ramírez
We still think he should do half his swings left-handed and half of them right-handed.
Royals: Jorge Soler
The offense has fallen off dramatically over the past two years, but the raw, unadulterated power is still there.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera
C’mon, once more, for old time's sake.
Twins: Nelson Cruz
He’s in his 40s and still crushing dingers.
White Sox: José Abreu
We’ll have to wait for next year for Eloy Jiménez or Luis Robert.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
A’s: Matt Olson
His teammate and fellow Matt -- Chapman -- has been in the Derby before, but Olson, the real power hitter of the Matts, never has.
Astros: Yordan Alvarez
It hasn’t manifested itself this season, but it really wouldn’t be surprising if he hits 45 homers one of these years.
Mariners: Mitch Haniger
Seeing Haniger healthy and raking again has been one of the pure joys of this Mariners season.
Rangers: Adolis García
The most surprising story of the Rangers’ season, and maybe the best thing they’ve got going moving forward.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Marlins: Jazz Chisholm Jr.
He’s got surprising power from his frame, and it’d be a blast to see him show it off in a venue like this.
Nationals: Juan Soto
An event like the Derby doesn’t really capture what Soto does best, but it sure does showcase one of his many, many skills.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Christian Yelich
Maybe the Derby will get Yelich’s home run swing to return?
Cardinals: Tyler O'Neill
With as much pure power as anyone in the Majors, O'Neill could make the Derby his perfect coming-out party as a slugger.
Cubs: Javier Báez
Would this help him heading into free agency, or hurt him?
Pirates: Ke'Bryan Hayes
They might want to wait until he has a full year under his belt, but you will absolutely see him in this event at some point.
Reds: Nick Castellanos
He would find a way to pump up the crowd, antagonize it, or both.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Eduardo Escobar
Did you have any idea Escobar had hit so many home runs this year (15)? I’ll confess, I absolutely did not.
Dodgers: Albert Pujols
Obviously, there are many, many players to choose from here. But come on. Wouldn’t this be a blast?
Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr.
It’s either Vlad Jr. or him who is providing the Griffey Jr. moment here.
Rockies: Ryan McMahon
If you’re gonna have a hometown guy, you might as well pick the one Rockie currently in double figures in homers.