Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton made it official on Sunday that he will be making his Home Run Derby debut in a few weeks at Target Field in Minneapolis.
The 24-year-old slugger leads the Nation League with 21 Home Runs and 60 RBIs so far this season. Stanton was supposed to be part of the 2012 Home Run Derby, but was injured and had surgery on his right knee just one day before the event.
Stanton will make his much anticipated debut in just a few weeks, and may be the favorite to take home the title. He has been known for hitting some tape-measure shots throughout his young career, and should be able to put on quite a show, displaying all of his power for the fans. So far this season, his home runs are traveling an average of 422 feet, and his longest of the season was a 484 foot shot back on April 4, against the San Diego Padres.
Mike Trout just a few days ago surpassed Stanton for the year's longest home run, when Trout launched an absolute bomb in Kansas City that was measured at 489 feet. No player has hit a moonshot farther than Stanton since August 12, 2012, when he drove a ball 494 feet in Colorado against the Rockies.
Stanton also has the third-most home runs in the major leagues since his debut on June 8, 2010. He has hit a total of 138 round-trippers, but is behind sluggers Jose Bautista and Miguel Cabrera.
National League captain Troy Tulowitzki announced Saturday that Stanton would be participating in the derby, as Stanton was actually one of the first players that Tulowitzki contacted after being named the captain last Monday.
In 2012 when Stanton was supposed to be part of the event he had 19 home runs before the break. He received an invitation to the All-Star Game for his efforts, but the knee surgery denied him that opportunity to participate in either.
Despite being just the fourth player in Marlins history to hit 20 or more home runs and drive in at least 60 runs in the first half, Stanton is currently fourth among the top three vote-getters for starting outfield spots in the All-Star Game.
There are also still three spots open on the National League five-man team for the Home Run Derby, but there has been no word yet about who will fill them. The American League team, which is captained by Bautista, has yet to fill a spot.