The MLB Home Run Derby, which will be held here in Phoenix in a little over a week on July 11th, will take on a slightly new flavor this season as there will be an AL and an NL captain who will pick the teams to compete. The AL Captain is David Ortiz from the Boston Red Sox. The NL Captain is Prince Fielder from the Milwaukee Brewers. Hopefully they give their selections a lot of thought and seriously hope that Fielder considers Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks as a participant.
Upton not only would be a representative of the hosting team, he also deserves to be there. He can hit homers a mile. He has 13 HR’s this season, on pace for about 25 HR. His career high is 26 in 2009. He brings the excitement, he has the power. The biggest question will be does someone else deserve the nod over him?
There are several NL players with more homers than Upton. Included in that group are Matt Kemp, Lance Berkman, Ryan Howard, Jay Bruce, Carlos Pena, and Fielder’s teammate Ryan Braun. I would not be surprised to see Fielder pick Braun. That leaves two more spots. How you’d leave Kemp and either Berkman or Howard out I don’t know?
Upton doesn’t even lead the Dbacks in HR. Chris Young has that nod at 15 HR. I think Upton brings more excitement to the event though. Should be interesting to see who Fielder goes with.