Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Turns Down 2022 MLB Home Run Derby Invite Due to Wrist Injury

Adam WellsJune 28, 2022

Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s return to the Home Run Derby will have to wait another year.

After Monday's win over the Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays star told Sportsnet he turned down an invitation to compete in this year's event to prevent a recurrence of a left wrist injury he suffered earlier this season.

"My wrist is fine right now, but I've got to be carefulโ€”there are too many swings in a home run derby," Guerrero said through interpreter Hector Lebron. "I don't want to take a chance that my wrist gets hurt again and it gets bad and I won't be able to help the team win, which is what we're trying to do here. I don't want to risk it."

Guerrero made his Derby debut in 2019, when he stole the show despite not winning. The 23-year-old set the record for most homers in a single round twice, including 40 in the semifinals against Joc Pederson.

His 91 total homers were also the most by an individual player in the history of the Home Run Derby. He lost to New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso in the final, 23-22.

Sarah Langs @SlangsOnSports

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit 91 HR tonight.<br><br>THAT'S 30 MORE THAN THE SINGLE-DERBY RECORD ENTERING TONIGHT.<br><br>Giancarlo Stanton had hit *just* 61 in 2016.

There was no Home Run Derby in 2020 because of the shortened regular season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He was voted in as the American League's starting first baseman for the 2021 All-Star Game but declined a Derby invitation to give his body more rest for the second half.

The Blue Jays scratched Guerrero from the starting lineup prior to their May 29 game against the Los Angeles Angels because of wrist soreness. He did enter the game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, drawing a walk.

Guerrero hasn't missed a game as a result of the injury. He has started all 26 games for the Blue Jays since May 31 and is hitting .286/.375/.591 with nine homers during that span.

The Blue Jays are in a tight battle for the AL Wild Card. There is one game separating the Boston Red Sox (42-32), Blue Jays (41-32) and Tampa Bay Rays (40-32) for those three spots. The Cleveland Guardians (36-33) and Texas Rangers (35-37) are the only clubs within five games of the Rays for the final playoff berth.

Losing Guerrero for anything length of time would be a huge blow to Toronto's postseason hopes. He leads the team with 18 homers and 45 RBI in 72 games this season.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.