Red Sox: J.D. Martinez shares team photo during Home Run Derby
The Red Sox All-Stars assembled to watch the Home Run Derby
The Boston Red Sox didn’t have any participants in this year’s Home Run Derby but the team was well represented among the spectators.
Boston has five players selected to the All-Star Game, the most by any major league team this year. Among them is J.D. Martinez, who shared a photo on Instagram alongside All-Star teammates Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Matt Barnes and Nathan Eovaldi during the Derby.
Here’s the photo, courtesy of the Red Sox Twitter account.
That’s quite a crew gathered for the festivities. But wait, who is that in the background? That’s Ken Griffey Jr. sneaking in with the photo bomb! It’s The Kid looking over the shoulder of Carita! The Hall of Fame outfielder and three-time Home Run Derby champion was in attendance to deliver the trophy to this year’s winner. Griffey Jr. just happened to be in the right place at the right time to be included in the group photo.
There was no All-Star Game during last year’s shortened season and therefore, no Home Run Derby. 2019 champion Pete Alonso successfully defending his crown by out-slugging Trey Mancini in the final round. Alonso smashed a staggering 35 homers in the first round and went deep on six consecutive swings in bonus time to clinch the victory in the finals.
While Mancini’s remarkable story returning from stage 3 colon cancer made him easy to root for, we have to be impressed by the outstanding performance by Alonso.
This year’s Derby also featured an epic duel between Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto in the opening round. A tiebreaker round wasn’t enough to determine a winner so it went to a swing-off where each player was given three swings. Soto went deep on all three of his and Ohtani wasn’t able to match.
While he couldn’t make it out of the first round, Ohtani still put on an incredible show with 15 home runs that traveled 475-plus feet and a Derby record six home runs that traveled 500-plus feet.
The Red Sox have only had one Home Run Derby winner, which came in 2010 when David Ortiz captured the crown. Boston hasn’t had anyone participate since 2011 when Ortiz was knocked out in the second round and Adrian Gonzalez fell short to Robinson Cano in the finals.
The Red Sox have plenty of power in their lineup but topping these performances would have been a tall task. Devers declined an invitation to participate because he feels he’s not a home run hitter in batting practice. Some may beg to differ considering that Devers entered the break tied for fifth in the American League with 22 home runs. This contest might not be for him but he sure looks like he was enjoying himself while watching the festivities.