Pirates’ Josh Bell to participate in Home Run Derby
Josh Bell will be the fourth Pittsburgh Pirates player this century to participate in the Home Run Derby, the team confirmed Sunday morning.
His 22 HR are the most by a N.L. switch hitter before the break since 2011.
— Pirates (@Pirates) June 30, 2019
Bell, who is fourth in the majors in slugging percentage (.629) and seventh in the National League in home runs (22), is the first Pirate named to the Derby since Pedro Alvarez in 2013. Jason Bay (2005) and Andrew McCutchen (2012) also have participated since the turn of the century.
The Derby will be held July 8 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, the night before the All-Star Game.
Bell’s selection is no surprise. He has talked about it openly for several weeks, and he was heard discussing it with the Brewers’ Christian Yelich on Saturday night before the Pirates game in Milwaukee. Yelich leads the majors with 29 home runs.
Yelich, Bell and the Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are the only confirmed Home Run Derby participants.
— Greg Brown (@gbrowniepoints) June 30, 2019
MLB will announce Sunday night the reserves and pitchers for the All-Star Game.
Bell, who leads the majors with 70 RBIs, was second by 1.1 percent to the Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman in fan voting for the National League All-Star starter at first base. He is slashing .303/.375/.629 to Freeman’s .310/.396/.590. Freeman has 22 home runs and 63 RBIs.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .