Pujols representing in Home Run Derby

By Ryan Whitehead

The mid-season is approaching and that means it’s All Star game and Home Run Derby time. It’s already exciting enough that the Derby will be played with new rules, but also Albert Pujols will be presenting the Angels this year in the Derby and the All-Star Game. Pujols will be the first Angel since Garret Anderson participated in the Derby in 2003, in which year Pujols was the runner up.

This will be the fourth Home Run Derby appearance for Pujols. “I’m going do it for the fans and for everybody to enjoy.”, Pujols told MLB.com, “hopefully I can put on a decent show like I have in the past.”

Pujols has certainly put up the numbers this season to earn a spot this year. He currently leads the AL with 25 home runs and his putting up impressive numbers that have lived up to his $250 million contract. Most fans might be concerned that participating in the Derby will throw off his swing, however, Pujols has put up impressive numbers afterwards. After participating in the 07 Derby, Pujols put up an impressive .349 batting average in the second half of the season.

“I enjoy it every time I do it because I take it like batting practice”, Pujols said, “it’s like regular batting practice, except you have 50,000 people watching you, and you don’t have a cage.”

Manager Mike Scioscia has stated that he prefers his players not to participate in the Home Run Derby because he thinks the workload is too overwhelming, but has confidence in Pujols.