NL, AL Home Run Derby teams unveiled
CarGo, Beltran, Stanton join Kemp; Cano picks Bautista, Trumbo, Prince
One night after National League captain Matt Kemp unveiled his Home Run Derby team, American League captain Robinson Cano announced Monday he will be joined by Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder and Jose Bautista.
On Sunday night, Kemp announced he would compete alongside first-timers Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Gonzalez in the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
The Home Run Derby can be seen on MLB.com and ESPN at 8 p.m. ET on July 9. The All-Star Game is on FOX at 8 p.m. on July 10.
While Trumbo announced Sunday he had accepted an offer from the Yankees' second baseman, Cano confirmed the other two members of his AL crew Monday night on ESPN.
"I'm going to treat it kind of like a normal batting practice toward the later rounds," said Trumbo, who sought advice from former Angel and 2003 Derby champion Garret Anderson. "I don't think it's going to be a big adjustment with my swing. I think if I just stay with my approach, I'll be just fine."
As for Fielder and Bautista, both had been coy about whether they'd participate in the Derby leading up to Cano's announcement Monday night. Bautista leads all Major Leaguers with 26 homers entering play Monday night, while Fielder has gone yard 12 times in his inaugural season in the AL.
"It's fun. I'm debating whether to do it or not," Bautista said this past weekend. "The invitation has been sent my way, but I'm 99 percent sure that I will. I have to run it by the team. Some things always happen last minute, and I have to make sure it's fine with them."
Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton declined a spot in the Derby, even though he is second in the Majors with 25 homers. Hamilton set a Derby record by hitting 28 long balls in one round during the 2008 Derby at the old Yankee Stadium.
"I love doing it," Hamilton said on Sunday night. "I loved doing it in 2008. I don't think it affected my swing, and it didn't wear me out for the rest of the season. The only drawback and the reason why I haven't done it since then is being in the hunt and the race for the postseason. Even though it's fun, it only takes one swing, one thing different can do something to hurt."
As for the NL squad, though Kemp has been sidelined since May 30 with a strained left hamstring and will miss the All-Star Game, he still plans to take his cuts in the Derby. In just 36 games this season, Kemp has mashed 12 home runs.
"I'm going to participate in it," Kemp said on Sunday night. "It's just like batting practice. I've been doing that the past three weeks, so I'm ready for that."
Beltran sits in second place in the NL with 20 homers, while Stanton has 19 and Gonzalez has 17. Reigning NL MVP and current NL home run leader Ryan Braun will not participate.
Kemp noted that teammate Andre Ethier was going to be selected before he strained his left oblique earlier this week.
"I had to find a replacement," Kemp said. "I wish he could. That would have been exciting. I think his kids would've enjoyed dad in the Home Run Derby. The kids seem to enjoy it the most. I'm pretty disappointed he can't participate in it. Hopefully next year."
Cano chose to pass on selecting hometown All-Star Billy Butler, continuing a recent trend. Only one player in the past six seasons has participated in the Derby at his home ballpark -- Albert Pujols in St. Louis in 2009.
Another potential AL candidate that didn't make the cut was Baltimore's Adam Jones, though he had said previously he wasn't sure how he would react to an invitation because of sore wrists that have limited him in batting practice.
Behind Bautista and Hamilton on the AL home run leaderboard are the White Sox's Adam Dunn (24 homers), the Yankees' Curtis Granderson (23) and the Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion (22).
One player who wasn't available to Cano was Boston's David Ortiz, the captain for the 2011 AL Home Run Derby team and the winner in '10. Ortiz said this year he'll be "like a Godfather" and "just sit and watch."
"I got worn out last year, man. I got so tired," Ortiz said. "And I think it caught up with me later on during the season. I ran out of gas. It was the first time I feel like I was really tired. Well, I guess age is catching up with Papi. I just need to save my energy for the second half now. But I'm going to have fun."
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.