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Ohtani out, Hernández in for MLB Dwelling Run Derby

One of the most highly anticipated sporting events in the country is set to take place next week when baseball’s greatest players assemble for the 2024 MLB All Star Game.

While the annual exhibition between the National League and American League will take place on Tuesday, it’s the event the night before that will likely be the one everyone is talking about on social media and around the water cooler: the Home Run Derby.

This year’s field will include some of the game’s best sluggers, but the two men leading their respective leagues in dingers have both decided to sit this one out.

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers is showered with sunflower seeds by Teoscar Hernandez after hitting a solo home run during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on April 3, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

New York Yankees outfielder, who’s leading all of baseball with 32 home runs to date, won’t be participating. He hasn’t taken a crack at the competition in years, but is currently 1-0 having won the Derby in his rookie year in 2017.

Along with Judge, Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani also announced he will be watching the Home Run Derby from the sidelines after previously voicing some interest in participating. Ohtani has 28 home runs on the year, tops in the National League, and most recently appeared in the Derby in 2021.

Ohtani, who currently plays for the Dodgers as a designated hitter but has also earned his stripes as an ace pitcher, is recovering from elbow surgery that will keep him off the mound through the entirety of the 2024 season. He said the decision to sit out of the Derby was done to allow himself some extra time to recover during the middle of a hectic MLB season.

Teoscar Hernández of the Dodgers celebrates a walk off single against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on July 02, 2024 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Instead, one of Ohtani’s teammates, new to both the Japanese star and the city of Los Angeles this year, will step up to the plate to try and win one for the Boys in Blue.

Outfielder Teoscar Hernández, in his first season with the Dodgers, will try to carry his hot hitting into Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas for the Home Run Derby.

Hernández is second behind Ohtani for clubhouse lead with 19 home runs this season. He’s blasted 178 dingers throughout his career in the Bigs but has never participated in the event.

In a message posted to social media, Hernández told fans he would be participating in the Derby and said he was excited to see everyone in Texas.

Hernández will also be playing in the actual All Star Game, marking the second time he’s received the honor in his career. He’ll be joining Dodgers teammates Ohtani, shortstop Mookie Betts, first baseman Freddie Freeman, catcher Will Smith and starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow for the All Star festivities. Glasnow, who leads the National League in strikeouts, was recently placed on the 15-day injured list and will not take the mound.

The 2024 MLB Home Run Derby takes place at 5 p.m. on Monday, July 15 on ESPN. The All Star Game is the following day at the same time and is broadcast on Fox.

For the complete field of Home Run Derby participants, click here.

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