Anthony Rizzo hails from south Florida and still lives there in the offseason. He likely won’t be elected to the starting All-Star team but still has a chance to be selected as a reserve.
If so, Rizzo says he’d love to participate in this year’s Home Run Derby:
“It’s in Miami, so I’d have to give it thought because it’s my hometown, my home area,” said Rizzo, who grew up just north of Miami in Broward County. “It was cool to do it the first time, and last year it was really nice to be able to relax and enjoy [watching]. But if I was asked here, I would definitely consider it.”
Rizzo and Kris Bryant both participated in the Derby in Cincinnati in 2015 but both declined last year, and Bryant says he’d opt out this year as well:
“Especially with it being here,” Bryant said from the visitors’ clubhouse at Miami’s Marlins Park. “It’s definitely not a hitter’s park. So it would be a tough Home Run Derby. I think I’d like to do it again at some point. Just this year, based on the last two years [of deep playoff runs], the body could use a little bit of rest.”
There’s no doubt Bryant needs the rest. Over his last 15 games he’s hitting just .217, though with three home runs and 14 walks, which gives him a .419 OBP and .435 SLG over that span. Bryant, like Rizzo, can get hot and carry a team. It’d be nice to see both of them do that as we lead into the All-Star break.
You might or might not care about the Home Run Derby, but it does get quite a bit of attention over the All-Star break and it’s a fun distraction from some of baseball’s other issues. If Rizzo wants to participate, I hope they’ll select him.