New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is endorsing Mets first baseman Pete Alonso’s bid to participate in the Home Run Derby.
Judge put on an absolute clinic in the Home Run Derby in 2017 and many New Yorkers are clamoring for Alonso to headline the event this year. In fact, the injured Yankees right fielder likes Alonso’s chances in the Home Run Derby this year.
“It was a lot of fun,” Judge said to David Lennon of Newsday this week. “I enjoyed it and I’d recommend it for him. After seeing his swing, he’s going to do pretty well in it. I know that.”
Alonso enters Sunday’s game with 19 home runs on the season. That’s good for third in the majors behind Christian Yelich (22) and Cody Bellinger (20). Alonso spoke recently about the prospect of participating in the Home Run Derby.
“Well, I mean, my thing is just hit the ball hard,” Alonso told Newsday’s Tim Healey. “That’s it. Home Run Derby, that’s just going to be the same thing I do every day. I’m a big, strong guy. I’m going to do the best I can to stick with it, you know? Stick with my same swing.
“I don’t want to manipulate my swing, how I get to the baseball. I don’t want to change anything — swing, mechanics or anything — for the Derby. I want to stay exactly who I am. I just want to trust my regular swing, which plays in a Derby. If I hit enough balls hard enough, I feel like they’re going to carry over the fence.”
A familiar concern about the Derby is that it can mess with a player’s swing. However, Alonso’s swing was tailor-made for this type of event and should play nicely in Cleveland during the All-Star festivities. Truth be told, Alonso could be playing in the All-Star Game in addition to the Home Run Derby if he continues to mash the way he has so far this season.