Baseball

Rhys Hoskins is in the Home Run Derby. Why he wanted a different All-Star celebration

The Philadelphia Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, right, is congratulated by Dusty Wathan after hitting a home run against the Milwaukee Brewers June 17 in Milwaukee.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, right, is congratulated by Dusty Wathan after hitting a home run against the Milwaukee Brewers June 17 in Milwaukee. The Associated Press

Rhys Hoskins recently had a run-in with an outfield wall. Next week, he hopes to hit a bunch of baseballs over the wall.

The Philadelphia Phillies outfielder and first baseman is one of eight players competing in the 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday at Nationals Park in Washington.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Dingers on deck. <br><br>Here’s the field for the 2018 <a href="https://twitter.com/TMobile?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TMobile</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HRDerby?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HRDerby</a>. <a href="https://t.co/bhBnC5k92X">pic.twitter.com/bhBnC5k92X</a></p>&mdash; MLB (@MLB) <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB/status/1017236504635170816?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 12, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The Sacramento State and Jesuit High product is the No. 8 seed and will open the first round against Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who on Wednesday was also named to the National League All-Star team by winning the Final Vote over Giants first baseman Brandon Belt and three other players. Aguilar is the top seed in the derby.

"I think it's a cool honor, just the fact that I would even be considered," Hoskins said on MLB.com. "Obviously not the complete way I want to be involved in the week, but it should be fun. I get to be around a pretty cool group of guys.

"I grew up watching the Home Run Derby as a kid, so I think that full circle kind of moment is pretty cool."

Hoskins isn't the only player in the field not playing in the All-Star Game the next day. Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy, the No. 3 seed, and Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, seeded fifth, also aren't playing in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.

Overall, seven of the players participating are in the N.L. The lone American League contestant is Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who is the No. 4 seed. Last year's champion, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, is not taking part this season.

The rest of the contestants: (2) Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, (6) Cubs second baseman Javier Baez and (7) Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.

The 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby airs Monday at 5 p.m. on ESPN.

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