Two days after being named to his fourth All-Star team, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones has decided to take part in the 2014 Home Run Derby at Target Field in Minnesota.
Manager Buck Showalter told reporters prior to Tuesday’s game against the Washington Nationals that the 28-year-old asked for permission to take part in the exhibition. Teammate Nelson Cruz declined an invitation to participate in the derby despite leading the major leagues with 28 home runs entering Tuesday.
Jones is tied for 12th in the American League with his 16 homers and is currently on pace to finish the 2014 season with 29, which would be four shy of his career high a season ago. He was selected to this year’s All-Star Game along with Cruz and injured catcher Matt Wieters.
The Orioles will be sending a representative to the power-hitting competition for the second straight year after Chris Davis participated at Citi Field in New York last season. Over the years, critics have pointed to the derby’s negative impact on hitters as Davis hit only 16 home runs in the second half last year after entering the Midsummer Classic with 37 homers in his first 95 games of the 2013 season.
Jones will try to become the third Orioles hitter to win the Home Run Derby after Cal Ripken won in 1991 and Miguel Tejada was victorious in 2004. Other Baltimore players to take part in the competition include Eddie Murray, Brady Anderson, B.J. Surhoff, and Rafael Palmeiro.
The 2014 Home Run Derby will take place on Monday night. The American League squad will be comprised of captain Jose Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes, Brian Dozier, and Jones, and another player to be named on Thursday. The National League team includes captain Troy Tulowitzki, Yasiel Puig, Giancarlo Stanton, and Todd Frazier. One more player will be named to each side on Thursday.