Randy Arozarena is preparing to take a swing at a first home run title…
The 28-year-old Cuban-Mexican professional baseball outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, an MLB All-Star, will take part in the 2023 Home Run Derby, Arozarena announced via social media.
“He’s excited about it,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I can feel very confident in saying he will be very entertaining. I know the fans enjoy watching Randy, I enjoy watching Randy. He’s got that “It” factor, and this is just another level to it.”
Arozarena is the fourth announced participant in the eight-man July 10 contest at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, joining Seattle Mariners‘ centerfielder Julio Rodríguez, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts.
“I feel very happy for the opportunity to participate in the Home Run Derby,” Arozarena said. “It’s always been a goal of mine, and also to be in the All-Star game itself. Everyone knows I like to hit home runs, so that is another reason why I wanted to be able to participate.”
Arozarena has 15 home runs so far this season, second on the Rays behind Jose Siri, who has 16. With Arozarena’s bubbly personality and penchant for dramatic on-field moments, Cash sees him as a perfect fit for the Derby’s big stage.
“There are some people that just have it,” Cash said. “I don’t know what it is, like you can’t pin it down. You watch him, I think every time there is a picture taken of him or he’s on TV, he’s smiling, and most of the time fans can really relate to that. I appreciate that, and then you add the component that he’s a really special talent, with speed, with power. He’s fun to watch.”
Atlanta‘s Ronald Acuña Jr., who topped all players in votes, said he will not participate for a third time.
Juan Soto won last year’s derby at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, edging Rodríguez 19-18 in the final round.