I'm Here To Tell You Who Should Participate In The 2024 MLB Home Run Derby

Just under 2 weeks away from the Home Run Derby happening in Texas on the 15th, it's an event I still look forward to every year. Something about watching the best guys in baseball smash balls 475 feet deep into the night. It hasn't gotten stale like the dunk contest, it's 1,000 times more watchable than any of the Pro Bowl Competition stuff, just something about watching young slugger swing their hearts out and hit homers. I still think a home run is the coolest thing you can do in sports, nothing more manly than hitting a ball as far as humanly possible. We've only got 1 guy signed up for it so far and that's Gunnar Henderson, 26 homers and should be a worthy candidate to bring home the title. But who should fill out the other 7 spots? I've got your list of who it should be.

Aaron Judge - 31 Homers

He's already said he won't be doing the 2024 derby....and that's lame on his part. He's the best pure power hitter we've seen since Barry Bonds retired, he puts on a show in every single series he takes part in. Doesn't swing overly hard, just puts wood on ball and it's 450. He's Lebron. A physical freak who quite literally can do anything he wants on his playing surface. He's done the derby once, back in 2017 when he won it but I do think it's lame he won't do it again. If he enters he wins it, it's as simple as that. I know he's had injury issues the last few years but come on, lighten up. Have some fun, Aaron. It's a showcase for the fans, give them what they want. What do you have to lose? He's already won one, he's leading baseball in HRs, just come swing the twig a little. MLB should automatically have the top 2 HR hitters participate if they are healthy. ESPECIALLY if it's an Oriole and a Yankee. Two teams and fan bases who don't like each other and are neck and neck in the standings. Give us a Judge vs Gunnar match up to light this fire for their race for the MVP. Sad that Judge doesn't care enough about the fans to hit some dingers for us. 

Shohei Ohtani - 26 Homers

Another guy who likely won't be in the derby due to an injury, Ohtani himself said he would like to do it but it doesn't sound like Dave Roberts and the Dodgers want him to participate and I can get that. It's probably better for his surgically repaired elbow to rest and not try and hit balls 500 feet for 45 straight minutes, but like I said with Judge….GIVE THE FANS WHAT WE WANT! We saw him vs Juan Soto in the Derby when it was in Colorado a few years back but he put up a dud performance. I'd love to see him have a redemption, especially taking on a guy like Judge or Gunnar. He does have a violent swing, not as smooth as the others so when he gets into one goes a longggggg way. I'd give him a 1% chance of doing it but a man can wish, right?


Josh Naylor - 20 Homers 

It's about time that baseball shows Josh Naylor a little respect. All he's done over the past few seasons has been one of the best players in the game with some good power numbers. I included the clip above simply for the celebration. He didn't hit it very far but the guy can celebrate. Imagine if he hits a homer to win a round and he starts rocking the baby, America would fall in love with him. He's a character that baseball fans outside of Cleveland deserves to see. Cleveland itself is constantly overlooked, and rightfully so because it sucks. But Naylor is a hell of a player on arguably the best team in the AL. He's a fun player who would shine in an event like this.

Bryce Harper - 20 Homers 

Yet another guy who won't be participating in the derby due to injury, Bryce was built for derbies. We saw it in 2018 when he won it in his home ballpark in DC. Electric showing from him there, the guy knows how to ignite a crowd and get em going. When he hits a no doubter it may be the best looking swing in baseball. The follow through, the cocky walk, usually the bat toss, he has it down. Harper would have put on a show in this derby the way he was swinging the bat before his hammy injury, swing is made for this kind of stuff. Shame he'll have to sit out, he seems like a guy who would have loved to do it again.

Yordan Alvarez - 17 Homers

Get this guy in a derby ASAP. He's probably the 2nd best power hitter behind Judge, he's an incredible talent. Multiple times a year he hits a ball where people have never seen one hit. Watch the clip above and just look at where that ball lands. LOOK AT HOW FAR THAT BALL IS HIT!!! He is a machine at the plate, maybe my favorite hitter to watch not face my team. He's hit massive homers on big stages too, ask any Phillies fan their thoughts on him and they will automatically teleport to October 2022 and the beatdown that he put on them with that massive homer. He recently mentioned that he isn't too interested or motivated to do the derby and thats a bummer for me. He's an incredible player who somehow flies under the radar, but when he's locked in he's as scary as Judge at the plate. He's open a lot of eyes in a derby. Plus would be fun to see how Rangers fans reacted to their rival's power hitter putting on a display in their ballpark. 


Adolis Garcia - 16 Homers

The Great Bombino, Adolis Garcia will absolutely be in the 2024 Home Run Derby in his home ballpark. He will be, he just hasn't announced it yet. We saw him lose in the 1st round last year to Randy Arozarena but this year he'll have his home crowd behind him and we'll see some absolute moonshots. The place is going to sound like a bomb went off, he will have it so loud in there as they go crazy watching him. He's just so big and so strong, his swing looks like he's taking an axe to a tree. He swings like he's furious at the ball for trying to come inches yard. Love that kind of attitude and it should translate well to the derby this year. 

Elly De La Cruz - 14 Homers

MLB has a great chance to showcase one of their best and most exciting players in Elly De La Cruz. Every time you see his name from across your timeline he's doing something that leaves your jaw on the ground. Either a 109 MPH throw from short, stealing like 9 bases in an inning, or hitting in 50 feet above the field onto a boat in dead center. Insane raw talent that just oozes out of EDLC. Only 14 home runs on the season but once he connects you know it's gone, and he'll let you know too. I think this would be a fantastic stage to show him off on, I think there's a good chance he is asked and accepts too. He seems like the kind of guy who would love an event like this. Or just let him see how fast he could hit an inside the park home run, now that would be entertaining. 

So there you go, if everyone was healthy and I could handpick my derby lineup that is who it would be. Tough to leave some guys off, Anthony Santander can hit rockets, Corey Seager when healthy should be there, Vladdy Jr to defend his title, Oneil Cruz, Teoscar Hernandez, Pete Alonso will probably join in without even being invited, Ketel Marte or Christian Walker would be sneaky fun guys to watch, and call me crazy but give me Brent Rooker in a derby too. He's got fun power and no one pays attention to him because of where he plays. Regardless I'm pumped to watch whoever is picked. This is an event that delivers every single year, every derby we get to see some awesome moment and if any of the guys above are selected we can get some all time stuff. Hopefully baseball gives us a solid lineup. 

Also, bring this guy back, just for one night a year.