Yankees' Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton Comment on Participating in $1M HR Derby

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)   Aaron Judge #99 and Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees during the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics in the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on October 3, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Athletics 7-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Yankees superstar sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton said they'd consider taking part in the 2019 Home Run Derby after Major League Baseball announced the prize pool will be increased to $2.5 million, including $1 million to the champion. 

"I always enjoy doing it," Stanton told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post on Thursday. "It just depends on where I'm at in the season and how I feel. That's the most important thing."

Judge said he wouldn't rule out participating, but added he'll "probably still wait until it’s back in New York," per Davidoff.

"That'll definitely entice a couple of more guys to definitely participate, that type of prize money, man," Judge said. "Especially those of us on the league minimum. That would double our salary in one event. That would be pretty cool."

Stanton won the derby in 2016 while still a member of the Miami Marlins. Judge took the crown the following year but didn't return to defend his title in 2018.

They were teammates for the first time last season and combined to hit 65 homers (38 for Stanton and 27 for Judge).

Although questions have been raised over the years about whether taking part in marquee event prior to the MLB All-Star Game can impact a hitter's swing in the second half, Ken Woolums and Daniel R. Braunstein of FiveThirtyEight debunked the "Home Run Derby myth."

"Uncharacteristic performances help players get selected for the Home Run Derby, and the decline in their numbers in the second half is more likely to be due to natural regression than their participation in the event," they concluded.

Stanton echoed the ability for players to earn a spot in the contest thanks to a strong first half, per Davidoff.

"I think it's good, because when I was a [younger player], there wasn't really an opportunity for us," he said. "They wanted the older guys to go. Now it doesn't matter who. You can just have a hot first half and they'll put you in it. So I think the setup is much better now, and this'll put some more icing on the cake."

Bryce Harper, who left the Washington Nationals in free agency to join the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies, is the defending derby champion.

This year's contest will take place at Progressive Field in Cleveland on July 8, and it could have a distinct Yankees feel if Stanton and Judge both decide to participate.

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