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Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Won't Participate in 2021 MLB Home Run Derby

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 21, 2021

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will not take part in the 2021 Home Run Derby, the first baseman told sports broadcaster Hazel Mae.

However, he is still planning to participate in the All-Star Game at Denver's Coors Field:

Hazel Mae @thehazelmae

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has decided not participate at this year's Home Run Derby. <br><br>He's looking forward to being at the All Star Game in Colorado but told me he'd like to use the time to regroup, refresh mentally for the second half of the season. #BlueJays

Guerrero currently leads MLB in WAR, OBP and OPS, per Baseball Reference. That's in addition to his MLB-high 59 RBI and 23 home runs, which are tied for the league lead with Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani will be taking part in the Derby, which is slated for Monday, July 12.

Guerrero participated in the 2019 Derby when he was a rookie, reaching the final round before losing to the New York Mets' Pete Alonso. He hit 91 home runs through three rounds, including 40 in the semifinals.

The son of Baseball Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero hit a record 29 in the first round before doing so again in the semis. However, then-Los Angeles Dodgers (and current Chicago Cubs) outfielder Joc Pederson matched his 29 homers, forcing the semis to go to swing-offs. Guerrero won there, 40-39.

Guerrero's prodigious home run power has been nothing short of spectacular this year. Per Baseball Savant, he has the second-fastest exit velocity (94.8 mph) and seventh-strongest hard-hit rate (54.7 percent) in the bigs. His home runs are also traveling an average of 412 feet.

Fans won't get to see Guerrero tee it up at the 2021 Derby, but they'll still get to watch him in the All-Star Game, which is set for Tuesday, July 13.

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