We are still months away from the 2021 Home Run Derby field being announced, but if the MLB comes calling, Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is ready to take his hacks. Alvarez said Friday he is interested in participating in the Home Run Derby at Coors Field in July.
"It's something to this point that I haven't had the opportunity to think about," Alvarez told reporters, including Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. "I haven't had a conversation about it yet, but if I get the opportunity to do something like that, it's something that would interest me."
Alvarez, 23, is having an incredible season, authoring a .329/.363/.557 batting line with seven home runs in 37 games. He missed just about the entire 2020 season with knee surgery, but swatted 27 homers in only 87 games en route to the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2019. Alvarez owns 35 home runs in only 126 MLB games.
Beyond the raw home run total, Alvarez is also among the game's exit velocity kings. His career 91.2 mph average exit velocity is well above the 88.3 mph league average, and his 407-foot average home run distance is a top 30 mark in baseball among players with at least 25 home runs since Opening Day 2019.
The Home Run Derby is a pure entertainment event and home run distance is as important (or more important, really) as the total number of home runs hit. Few batters in the game hit the ball out of the park as often and as far as Alvarez. He is a natural for the event.
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has already said he wants to defend his 2019 Home Run Derby crown this year. The smart money is on MLB inviting Alonso given how he's embraced the event.
MLB did not hold a Home Run Derby or an All-Star Game during the pandemic-shortened season a year ago.