Major League Baseball sure knows how to play to the home crowd. A pair of local boys will be captaining the competing AL and NL squads in this year’s Home Run Derby, taking place as part of the All Star Game festivities that will be held at Citi Field in New York.
Mets third baseman David Wright, who finished second in last year’s Derby, will be heading up the National League Squad. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano will lead the American League.
Being designated captain is a great honor, but with it comes the even greater responsibility of hand-picking their respective league’s other Home Run Derby participants.
Cano has been captain before. Last year, he was in charge of selecting American League representatives and was vilified and booed by the home crowd for not selecting hometown favorite Billy Butler (the All Star Game was held in Kansas City last season). This year, Cano has the luxury of being the hometown favorite for the American League.
Both Wright and Cano are expected to lean heavily on fan recommendations to help make their picks. For the second year, MLB has created a Home Run Derby Fan Poll that allows fans to select three players from each league who they would like to see participate.
The Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15.