The Home Run Derby is one of the most exciting parts of the Major League Baseball season. The derby is a chance for some of the best power hitters in baseball to show off their skills to their peers and fans. Pittsburgh Pirate Pedro Alvarez was snubbed of that honor this year.
Alvarez is batting .250 with 23 home runs and 58 RBIs for the Pirates. That performance was good enough to get him into the All-Star Game but not the Home Run Derby.
The NL captain David Wright chose Bryce Harper, Michael Cuddyer, and Carlos Gonzales to participate along side him.
The controversy came from Pirates fans when Cuddyer was chosen by Wright over Alvarez. Cuddyer is 10th in the NL with 15 home runs. Many feel Wright chose Cuddyer because they are buddies.
Gonzales and Domonic Brown of the Phillies are the only two players in the National League that have more home runs than Alvarez.
“I’m just glad I get to go to the game and get to watch those guys drop some balls,” Alvarez said. “I’m just glad I get to be part of that whole experience.”
Even Alvarez’s teammates question Wright’s decision.
“He’s probably one of the most powerful guys in the league and can put on a show,” Garrett Jones said. “It’s unfortunate he didn’t get picked. I don’t know if (Wright) just knows the other guys better, but Pedro definitely deserved it. He’s got tons of power, and it would have been fun to see him in there competing. So I’m a little disappointed.”
The Home Run Derby is suppose to be a show for the fans. The fans want to see the participants hit home runs and they want to see the bombs. Alvarez is definitely known for hitting bombs.
According to ESPN’s home run tracker, Alvarez has hit two home runs of more than 450 feet, three others more than 430 feet, and 14 of the 22 have been at least 400 feet. Not to mention he puts them into the river daily during batting practice.
Alvarez and Brown were truly snubbed by Wright. The Pirates’ fans will be sure to let Wright know how they feel about the situation when the Mets come to PNC Park the weekend before the All-Star break.