NL homer leader Schwarber enters Derby field

July 12th, 2022

TORONTO -- The National League’s home run leader is ready to show off his power on MLB’s biggest stage: The T-Mobile Home Run Derby.

Phillies slugger announced on Instagram on Tuesday that he'll be participating in the star-studded event, which will take place on ESPN on Monday at 8 p.m. ET at Dodger Stadium.

Schwarber, who has an NL-leading 28 homers, will join a field of NL East rivals Pete Alonso, Juan Soto and Ronald Acuña Jr. and Cardinals legend Albert Pujols. Representing the Philadelphia fan base in the Derby, during his first season with the Phils, was one of the big reasons Schwarber decided to participate, he said.

This is Schwarber’s second stint in the Home Run Derby, as he finished runner-up to his now-teammate Bryce Harper in 2018. After sneaking past Alex Bregman, 16-15, in the opening round of that Derby -- Bregman’s final swing came inches away from being a home run -- Schwarber walked off Rhys Hoskins (another now-teammate), 21-20, in the semifinals before falling to Harper. In total, Schwarber slugged 55 home runs across the Derby.

“I think I can learn from my mistakes that I made back then,” Schwarber said. “Maybe not go full-blown 100 percent right away, just keep working into it.”

Earning his second All-Star selection, Schwarber is coming off one of the best months of his career. The first-year Phillie batted .272 and slugged 12 home runs -- the most any batter hit in June -- en route to being named NL Player of the Month. He’s carried that momentum into July as well, as his five home runs in the month are tied for the second most in the Majors.

Schwarber is no stranger to hitting home runs in bunches, as he’s tallied five multihomer games this year and tied an MLB record last June with 15 home runs in 17 games while he was a member of the Nationals.

“He pretty much does the Home Run Derby every day,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said.

Schwarber will be part of a contingent trying to prevent Alonso from becoming the first player in MLB history to win three Home Run Derbies in a row. Schwarber has hit three home runs in 16 career games at Dodger Stadium. He will be the first Phils player to appear in the Derby since Hoskins in 2018. The franchise’s only two Derby wins came in 2005 and ’06, when Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard took home back-to-back crowns.