Baltimore’s Triple-A roster is littered with big names and former big leaguers, including Miguel Tejada, Jamie Moyer, Lew Ford, Pat Neshek, J.C. Romero, Joel Pineiro, Bill Hall, and Nate McLouth.
Some of them, like Ford, are thriving as they try to make it back to the majors one last time, but the 38-year-old Tejada is struggling.
He’s yet to homer in 24 games and the former MVP is hitting .270 with a measly .625 OPS while playing third base. Tejada batted just .259 with a .660 OPS in 247 games as a part-timer for the Padres, Orioles, and Giants during the previous two seasons, so it seems pretty safe to say he’s finished.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.