José Ramírez has accepted an invitation to become the seventh batter in the 2022 MLB Home Run Derby, Jeff Passan has reported (and José himself apparently confirmed to Andre Knott in the middle of tonight’s game).
Ramirez will join Ronald Acuña Jr., Pete Alonso, Albert Pujols, Juan Soto, Kyle Schwarber, and Julio Rodríguez for the event. One spot remains open, but already this looks like one of the most exciting fields in years. Between repeat performers like Soto, Acuna Jr, and Alonso, to a rookie sensation in Rodriguez, an MLB legend in Pujols, and now Ramirez, it should be a good one.
Ramirez will be the first Cleveland batter to participate in the Derby since Carlos Santana took part in front of the home fans in 2019. Santana’s big looping swing doesn’t exactly play well in a timed home run derby — plus, he was paired against eventual winner Pete Alonso — and as a result, his night was cut short after 13 home runs in the first round.
While Ramirez’s production has slowed down lately, he’s tied for 21st in the majors with 17 home runs on the season, and you won’t find anybody willing to put on a better show than the man who wears a chain of himself wearing a chain.
The 2022 Home Run Derby will take place in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET on Monday.