While there are some notable absences from each league’s Home Run Derby roster -- like Philadelphia’s Dominic Brown, Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez and an assortment of American League batters with more than 20 home runs -- ESPN analyst John Kruk mentioned an Oriole he’d like to see in the competition sometime soon
But this Oriole is known more for his doubles than his home runs.
“I’d like to see the super three young guys in there, [Orioles third baseman Manny] Machado and [Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike] Trout along with [Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce] Harper to watch the transition of the game to go from the older players like [New York Yankees shortstop Derek] Jeter and Mariano and Albert Pujols is getting older to the young kids who are taking over the game and are superstars,” Kruk said on a Home Run Derby and All-Star Game conference call Wednesday. “That’s who I’d like to see.”
Machado had 14 home runs in his 142-game career entering Wednesday night’s game against Texas. Two of those home runs came against Kansas City right-hander Luke Hocheaver in the second game of his career on Aug. 10, 2012. Machado would homer later in the series against the Royals, giving him three home runs in his first four games.
Harper will participate for the National League in the Home Run Derby against Machado’s teammate, first baseman Chris Davis, and the American League. Trout will start alongside Orioles center fielder Adam Jones in the All-Star Game, while Harper will start for the National League. Machado is a reserve.
Instead of his power, Machado has been known for his ability to hit for average — his .315 mark entering Wednesday was tied for seventh in the American League with Trout while his 123 hits are the most before the All-Star break by a player under 22 — and his doubles.
Machado’s 39 doubles are second-most before the All-Star break in baseball history behind Edgar Martinez’s 42 in 1999. He’s on pace for 69, which would break the baseball record of 67 set by Earl Webb in 1931 and the Orioles record of 56 set by second baseman Brian Roberts in 2009.