Bryce Harper Will Participate in Home Run Derby If He Gets 2018 All-Star Nod

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals bats against the Baltimore Orioles in the fourth inning at Nationals Park on June 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper has committed to participate in the 2018 Home Run Derby on July 16 as long as he is selected to the National League All-Star team. 

"So count me in for the Derby if and only if I make the team," he told the Washington Post's Barry Svrluga on Friday. "But if I do, I will be a participant in the 2018 HR Derby."

The Nationals reacted to Harper's announcement accordingly: 

Harper ranks second among all NL outfielders in All-Star voting and is in line to be stationed in his familiar right field post when the 89th annual Midsummer Classic gets underway at Nationals Park on July 17. 

Voting will conclude July 5. 

As far as the Derby is concerned, Harper's commitment is a major boost for Major League Baseball considering he has shied away from participating following his lone appearance in the long-ball exhibition in 2013.

Plus, some of the game's biggest drawsincluding Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez—could opt out of the festivities, according to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman

Entering Friday night's home tilt against the Philadelphia Phillies, Harper is hitting .213/.352/.469 with a National League-leading 19 home runs and 45 RBI.   

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