Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder and 2023 National League All-Star starter Mookie Betts will participate in this year's Home Run Derby. Betts confirmed the news on Thursday and added that his mother ordered him not to finish last.
Betts is now the third hitter to confirm he'll be part of the eight-man field at this year's Derby. Previously,and announced they will compete. Rodríguez will be the hometown favorite, as Seattle's T-Mobile Park is playing host to this year's All-Star festivities.
Last week, Betts said he would take part in the Derby provided he was named as an All-Star. Here's what he said at the time, via Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
"It's the last thing I haven't done. My wife kind of compared it to [NBA superstar LeBron James] not doing the dunk contest. And that's not a knock or anything, but she just feels like for what I'm trying to do in baseball, bring awareness to Black culture, I should probably be more involved."
Now that Betts is indeed an All-Star for the seventh time in his career, he'll be a Derby combatant for the first time.
Going into Thursday's slate, Betts this season is slugging .513 with 20 home runs in 76 games. For his career, he has 233 home runs, and he's averaged 32 home runs per 162 games played across those 10 MLB seasons. Betts is listed at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, which will make him one of the smallest Derby participants ever, but the power is unassailable.
The 2023 Home Run Derby will take place at T-Mobile Park on Monday, July 10. Here is our dream field.