Pitcher Madison Bumgarner has been lobbying San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy to let him participate in the 2016 Home Run Derby next month. Videos like this would indicate that he might do quite well:
Just look at those bombs. Bumgarner hit them at batting practice in St. Louis on Sunday afternoon. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that Bumgarner hit at least a dozen baseballs out, including one that reached the fourth deck of Busch Stadium—a pretty insane distance. And the Giants’ ace has also performed at the plate in games, hitting two home runs in just 32 at bats. He has 13 homers in his career, which leads all active pitchers. So Bumgarner seems to have a legitimate shot at winning the Home Run Derby if Major League Baseball would allow him to do it—and they probably would just for viewership alone.
The problem, of course, is that Bumgarner is a pitcher. And despite his desire to participate, it doesn’t sound like his manager will let him take part any time soon.
“No, to be serious, I couldn’t let him do it,” Bochy told ESPN. “We couldn’t let him do it. And Bum, he’s convinced he could win it. I think he would wear himself down in the first round, he’d try to hit it so hard.”
Bochy has a month to change his mind, so we won’t give up hope yet. Bumgarner in the Home Run Derby absolutely must happen.