Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads all players in the latest round of All-Star Game voting, meaning he’ll likely be a part of this year’s MLB All-Star Game in Colorado.
However, Guerrero has decided not to participate in the Home Run Derby to “refresh mentally” for the second half of the 2021 season, according to Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae Barker.
Guerrero participated in the 2019 Home Run Derby, setting the record for the most home runs in a single round (29) and in a single Derby (91). However, he fell in the finals to New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso.
The 22-year-old is in the midst of a breakout season, hitting .337/.440/.671 with a career-high 23 home runs and 59 RBI in 70 games. Guerrero ranks first in MLB in home runs, RBI, on-base percentage, OPS and wins above replacement. He ranks second in slugging percentage and fourth in batting average.
With Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout still sidelined, Guerrero is the betting favorite to win the AL Most Valuable Player Award at -125, according to BetOnline.ag.
Although he won’t compete in the Home Run Derby, the competition still is expected to have some star power. Angels dual-threat Shohei Ohtani already announced his commitment to compete in the event, and it’s possible Alonso will look to defend his title.