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Report: Bryce Harper approached by MLB about doing Home Run Derby

Major League Baseball has approached Bryce Harper about the possibility of competing in the Home Run Derby at the 2018 All-Star Game, reports Fan Rag Sports’ John Heyman.

“Sources say MLB has reached out to Harper about participating in the derby, but word is they have yet to put any pressure on him,” Heyman writes. “Harper hasn’t committed one way or another, and he is said not to have made up his mind.”

The notion that the league always is interested in adding star power to its home-run hitting showcase is no surprise. The fact that this year’s Midsummer Classic will be held in Harper’s home ballpark presumably only adds MLB’s desire to add the Washington Nationals slugger to the lineup of power hitters.

Harper currently has 19 home runs on the season, good for third in baseball and tops in the National League. The 25-year-old has competed in the Derby just once, back in 2013, when he lost in the final to Yoenis Cespedes.

Heyman notes in his report that the league is concerned “the field may not be as star-studded as usual, with some suggestions heard that Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton may not enter.” 

Speaking of which, Judge all but confirmed last month he would not be defending his Home Run Derby title from last season at Nationals Park, saying, “There is no need to do it.”