Tonight, one of the most exciting events of the season, the Home Run Derby will be taking place. The event begins at 5:00 PM PST, and has eight of the premiere power hitters in the game today participating. Unfortunately, no Los Angeles Angels are participating.
The MLB league leader in home runs, Shohei Ohtani, will not be participating in the Home Run Derby this season. Ohtani has 32 home runs at the break, on pace to shatter his 34 from last season and his career high of 46 back in his MVP year of 2021. He could even potentially catch or pass Aaron Judge's historic 62 home runs last season.
Ohtani participated in the derby back in 2021 but fell short. Mike Trout, one of the premiere power hitters in Angels history, has yet to participate in a derby. The question must be asked, has an Angel ever actually won the derby?
Have the LA Angels ever had a Home Run Derby winner?
In just the second-ever Home Run Derby in 1986, Wally Joyner both launched four home runs and shared victory. The NL won with runner-up Dave Parker hitting three home runs for the NL. Joyner hit 22 home runs and drove in 100 runs that year for the Angels as a rookie. Pretty impressive year overall.
It was 17 years later, but Garret Anderson put on an impressive display of power at the then called U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, home of the White Sox. It's now known as Guaranteed Rate Field. Anderson defeated future Angel Albert Pujols 9-8 in the finals to take home the trophy.
The most recent Angels champion was Vladimir Guerrero, who won back in 2007 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, now known as Oracle Park.
Guerrero launched 17 home runs and defeated Alex Rios who placed second. Some of the home runs he hit were majestic shots.
The Angels three derby victories have them tied for second (with five other teams) only trailing the New York Yankees who have had four players win, for the most ever.
No Angels will be in the derby this season, but it's very possible we see someone next season. Of course, if Ohtani stays, he'll always be in contention. I'm sure if Mike Trout is healthy he'd consider doing it once before he retires.