Major League Baseball officially announced the eight hitters who will be participating in the 2022 Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium, which is set for Monday as part of All-Star Week in Los Angeles.
For a second consecutive year, the Los Angeles Dodgers will not be represented in the event. Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner were among the possibilities, but both declined for various reasons.
The Dodgers had other deserving candidates for the competition, including Max Muncy, who participated in the 2018 Home Run Derby. However, Muncy presumably did not want to take part in this year’s event due to still not being fully recovered from the torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his left elbow that was suffered at the end of the 2021 season.
Others hoped Will Smith would enter the Derby, but he passed on the opportunity after not being selected to the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, via Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
#Dodgers catcher Will Smith said he would be in if asked. But he added that he would need to be on the All-Star team first.
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) July 8, 2022
Smith has been one of the best offensive catchers since making his MLB debut in 2019, and this season, is batting .272/.364/.478 with 13 doubles, 14 home runs and 47 RBI in 77 games.
“Yeah, it did,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts answered when asked if he was surprised by Smith, Freeman and Julio Urías being All-Star Game snubs. “I think all three guys are worthy of it.
“Obviously there’s a fan selection, there’s a player selection, and Major League Baseball makes their choice. I’m certainly bias, but it’s hard for me to not see those three guys on the All-Star team.”
Freeman — and Tyler Anderson — have since been added to the National League roster as injury replacements.
2022 Home Run Derby bracket matchups
No. 1 Kyle Schwarber vs. No. 8 Albert Pujols
No. 2 Pete Alonso vs. No. 7 Ronald Acuña Jr.
No. 3 Corey Seager vs. No. 6 Julio Rodriguez
No. 4 Juan Soto vs. No. 5 José Ramirez
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