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Mike Trout sets Angels franchise record with a walk in 14 consecutive games

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With a walk in the first inning of Wednesday afternoon’s match with the Athletics, Mike Trout set a new Angels franchise record with a walk in 14 consecutive ballgames, per Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times. The record was previously held by Eddie Yost (June 14-28, 1961) and Albie Pearson (August 18-30, 1961).

Trout, of course, does it all, even drawing walks. He walked again in the third inning, giving him 82 free passes on the season. He has five more of those than strikeouts. Among players who have come to the plate at least 400 times this season, Trout, Joey Votto (116/71), Justin Turner (51/45), and Dustin Pedroia (42/42) are the only players with at least as many walks as strikeouts.

Trout entered Wednesday’s action batting .326/.463/.655 with 27 home runs, 61 RBI, 79 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 417 plate appearances. Despite missing a month and a half with a torn thumb ligament, he still has the third-highest WAR (6.2) in baseball, according to FanGraphs. He trails Jose Altuve (6.4) and Anthony Rendon (6.4). Giancarlo Stanton (6.0) and Joey Votto (6.0) are the only other players with at least 6 WAR.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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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.