It’s batter up for José Bautista…
The 33-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, will serve as the American League’s captain for the Home Run Derby.
Bautista, the 2010 and 2011 MLB home run champion and a five-time Major League Baseball All-Star, will have some star power on his team. He’s selected reigning derby champ and Oakland Athletics’ star Yoenis Cespedes, the Minnesota Twins’ Brian Dozierand the Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones as the top three picks for his team.
They’ll face off a Nation League team that includes captain and Colorado Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki, and his top three picks: the Cincinnati Reds’ Todd Frazier, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig and the Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton.
An additional fifth member will be named to each team on Thursday.
“Bunch of guys with a lot of power,” Tulowitzki said of his team. “More than that, I think they’re good guys, got to know them throughout the years.”
Stanton is the only player in the National League group that ranks in the top five in the majors in home runs with 21 entering play Tuesday night, but he is the NL-leader in the category.
That means that only one member of the remaining top five home run hitters in the league will be added to Bautista’s side. He has a choice of Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz (28), the Chicago White Sox‘s Jose Abreu (27) and Detroit Tigers‘ Victor Martinez (21).
Bautista’s Toronto teammate Edwin Encarnacion is third in the league with 26 home runs, but is currently on the disabled list. Martinez might also bow out of the running as he’s been held out of recent games due to injury.
Fellow Tiger Miguel Cabrera (14) and Los Angeles Angels phenom Mike Trout (20) have already said they will not participate in the contest, which will be held Monday night on ESPN from Minnesota’s Target Field.
Stanton, Tulowitzki (18) and Frazier (17) are all in the top five in homers in the National League along with the Chicago Cubs‘ Anthony Rizzo (18) and Philadelphia Phillies‘ Marlon Byrd (18).
Also a possibility for the final NL spot is Tulowitzki’s teammate and former Minnesota Twinsplayer Justin Morneau. Morneau is a candidate in the Final Vote to make the All-Star team.
“If he wins that final vote, there’s possibly a chance,” Tulowitzki said. “I think it would make a storyline. Played with the Twins all those years. He’s definitely on the list if he makes the team. There are some other guys as well that have lobbied and would be good choices.”