Trumbo “wouldn’t be opposed” to HR Derby …
If you’ve ever seen Mark Trumbo hit in batting practice, or witnessed the 400-foot moonshots he’s already hit this season, then you know how fun it could be to watch him hit in the Home Run Derby in Kansas City next month.
En route to finishing second in AL Rookie of the Year voting last year, Trumbo led the Angels in homers (29). This year, after a monster May, the imposing slugger paces the club once again in that category (with 10), but also in OPS (1.029) and batting average (.348). In short, he’s a prime All-Star candidate if he can continue that production in June — he probably won’t start at third base, where he’s listed on the ballot, but a spot can be made for him — and he says he’d be open to taking part in the festivities the day before.
But as of Wednesday, he hadn’t been asked to by Major League Baseball yet.
“I wouldn’t be opposed to it, probably,” Trumbo said. “I’ve done some in the past and had a good time with it. But it’s something I haven’t given any thought to because it hasn’t come up.”
Trumbo won the Texas League Home Run Derby while in Double-A in 2009 and took part in a couple as a teenager. Some players refuse to hit in it because they claim it messes with their swing. Bobby Abreu in particular raised an issue about that in 2005, when he won the Derby but then saw his OPS plummet from .955 to .787 in the second half.
But Trumbo has a swing that’s tailored for that.
“It’s part of my game anyway,” he said.
“It depends on how you’re trying to hit ‘em,” Trumbo added. “If you’re completely changing your mechanics, then sure, I think it can [mess with your swing]. But I think if you can keep the same swing and just get a good pitch to hit, which is pretty easy in that situation.”
Home Run Derby participants are chosen by MLB. Of late, a player hasn’t had to be on the All-Star team to take part.