With the 2021 MLB All-Star Game looming, the Athletics have plenty of guys they could send to the festivities in Denver, Colo., but manager Bob Melvin said none of his players have expressed a desire to participate in the Home Run Derby.
At least not yet.
“There’s one in particular that I think should be in it,” Melvin said Friday prior to the A's game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Melvin was referring to first baseman Matt Olson, who currently has 18 homers on the season, which is in the top five in MLB. He’s also slashing .297/.252/.344 with 49 RBI and a .981 OPS.
Melvin knows a thing or two about watching one of his guys put on a show. In 2013 and 2014, former A’s outfielder Yoenis Céspedes put on an amazing display to win both derbies.
“He’s very entertaining, and if anybody’s built for that spotlight it was him,” Melvin said on Friday. “So I knew going in, if he got on a roll, he would be tough to stop because he just really enjoys people watching.”
Cespedes totaled 32 home runs in 2013 and in the following year, he hit a total of 28.
“Didn’t surprise me that he won it two years in a row,” Melvin said. “Certain guys really like that stuff.”
Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani announced Friday he would be participating in the derby this year. Melvin before has said having Ohtani pitch and hit is “must-see TV.” Not when he’s on the opposite side of the A’s, however.
“He’s rather entertaining too,” Melvin said.
If Olson participates at Coors Field this year, it would be quite the showdown against Ohtani and the other competitors.