Mike Trout declines Home Run Derby invite: MLB asks ‘every year’
It would be a major coup for Major League Baseball if Mike Trout responded to its overtures and finally agreed to take part in a Home Run Derby. Just like every other year, though, the Los Angeles Angels slugger again is simplly not interested.
Trout, arguably the best player in baseball, was the leading vote-getter in All-Star voting by fans and will be a starter at the Midsummer Classic on July 9 at Progressive Field. A two-time MVP, Trout has been named a starter in seven straight All-Star Games, something he calls an “honor.”
That said, Trout cannot get excited about the Home Run Derby, despite being asked to participate has become an annual tradition.
“Every year,” Trout said, via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. “Every year they ask me.”
It does not come as a shock that MLB seeks out the biggest stars in baseball to gauge their interest in taking part in the Home Run Derby, nor is it surprising that many players decline.
The league attempted to ratchet up interest this season by dramatically increasing the purse to $2.5 million — with the winner of the long-ball exhibition set to pocket $1 million this year — but even that kind of payoff has failed to attract higher-profile players.
Trout admitted it’s possible that one day he may reconsider and actually take part in a Home Run Derby.
“Maybe one year I’ll say to myself, ‘Hey, let’s do it,'” Trout said. “I’m obviously a big fan of watching it. It’s just what it is. I enjoyed watching it as a kid, thought it was cool. I just never really wanted to do it.”
What it boils down to for Trout is the wear and tear the home run-hitting exhibition can cause players.
“It’s a long, long night,” Trout said. “A lot of swings.”
Trout, nor any other player contemplating a Home Run Derby appearance, does not have to look too far back in history to see how competing in one can at the very least potentially derail a promising season, as was arguably the case with Aaron Judge just a few seasons ago.