With the All-Star break just around the corner, the Home Run Derby squad rumors are beginning to percolate.
And while everyone is itching to see rookie Aaron Judge and Miguel Sano lead the AL squad against rookie Cody Bellinger and reigning champ Giancarlo Stanton, there might be a more compelling entry to the contest: Ichiro Suzuki.
Indeed, at MLB.com, Anthony Castrovince got some players to vote on who they’d most like to see in the upcoming home run derby, and the living legend and future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer got as many nods as Bryce Harper and Cody Bellinger.
To be sure, Ichiro only has two home runs this season (and has hit just one in each of the three previous years), but game power and derby power are two very different things.
Indeed, as Castrovince writes, “Even at 43, Ichiro’s BP reputation precedes him.” Just last year, for example, Barry Bonds (Marlins hitting coach at the time) said he was “convinced” Ichiro could win the Home Run Derby.
In addition, Angels’ second baseman Danny Espinosa said he’s seen what Ichiro can do in batting practice and he thinks he can win too. Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams added that he, too, hopes Ichiro sneaks into the derby and dominates the competition.
We can only hope.