gettyimages-12335102211.jpg
Getty Images

The best feel-good story in baseball will participate in the 2021 Home Run Derby.

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini has accepted an invitation to the Home Run Derby, MLB announced Tuesday. Dan Connolly of The Athletic previously reported Mancini is "psyched to do it," and the Orioles would not stand in his way.

The 29-year-old Mancini missed the entire 2020 season after being diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. He had surgery to remove a malignant tumor last March and completed his chemotherapy treatment in September. In November, Mancini told reporters his most recent blood work found no tumor DNA.

"Now, health-wise, I feel great. I feel totally like myself," Mancini said at the time. "I just wanted to get through it and attack it and get back to being me."  

Beyond being a tremendous and inspiring story, Mancini is also a damn good player, taking a .258/.332/.457 batting line and 14 home runs into Tuesday. He had his breakout year in 2019, when he authored a .291/.364/.535 batting line with 35 home runs before receiving his cancer diagnosis.

Mancini's home run stats made him a strong Home Run Derby entry. He's among the league leaders in maximum exit velocity, and his average home run distance is comfortably above the league average. Mancini's career long is a 459-foot home run back in 2017.

Mancini will join two-way sensation Shohei Ohtanidefending champ Pete Alonso, and hometown slugger Trevor Story in the Home Run Derby. Four spots remain open. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Aaron Judge, Gary Sánchez, and Fernando Tatis Jr. are among the stars who have said they will skip the event.

The Home Run Derby will take place on Monday, July 12, at Coors Field in Denver.