Even with the Los Angeles Dodgers going through multiple stretches of not performing to expectations this season, they still figure to have Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts among those participating in the 2023 MLB All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park.
In last week’s All-Star Game voting update, Betts ranked among the top three National League outfielders. Freeman was in second place at first base, J.D. Martinez led for the designated hitter spot, and Will Smith was second among NL catchers.
Betts has been named an All-Star six times in his career, including twice with the Dodgers.
While he figures to reach the All-Star Game again this season, Betts told Harold Reynolds on MLB Network that would mean he’s also willing to participate in the Home Run Derby as well:
“I’ll do the Home Run Derby too if you have any advice for me. … I’ma do it. I’ma do it. As long as I’m an All-Star. I’ve got to be an All-Star first, and then I’ll do it.”
Betts currently is tied for eight place among all players with 17 home runs this season. Max Muncy is just ahead of him with 18 homers.
Betts was among the six Dodgers who represented the team in the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium last season, but he nor any of the other position players competed in the Home Run Derby.
Freeman and Trea Turner both declined invitations to do so. Freeman did inform MLB it was something he would consider the event in future years, but there’s yet to be any indication 2023 is that time.
Albert Pujols did participate in last year’s Derby, and considering he was a handful of months removed from playing for the Dodgers, the veteran had the crowd’s support.
Has Mookie Betts done the Home Run Derby?
Betts has never participated in a Home Run Derby during his career.
A total of nine Dodgers have ever participated in the Home Run Derby, but none won the event. The group includes Mike Piazza (1993, 1994), Raúl Mondesí (1995), Hee-Seop Choi (2005), Matt Kemp (2011, 2012), Yasiel Puig (2014), Joc Pederson (2015, 2019), Corey Seager (2016), Cody Bellinger (2017) and Max Muncy (2018).
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