The Home Run Derby X takes place in London on Saturday July 9, 2022. It hasn’t exactly been publicized well. Maybe it’s because following the New York Mets closely, there are more important things going on than four retired players swatting baseballs over London Bridge and into the "eye."
MLB has honestly done a poor job at hyping the event up. Maybe in Europe it runs as often as the “no free squeegee” ads do while I’m streaming true crime documentaries all day long. Am I the only person who finds the guy trying to get a free squeegee cleaning the most entitled character in fiction and non-fiction?
Commercials aside, there has been little to no promotion whatsoever about this event. It even features a one-time Mets player. But who knew?
One-time Mets first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is competing in the Home Run Derby X
Adrian Gonzalez was a member of the 2018 Mets. This was the period after Lucas Duda and before Pete Alonso. In 187 plate appearances for them, he batted .237/.299/.373 with 6 home runs. It was a major turn in the career of a guy who belted over 300 MLB home runs.
Gonzalez won’t be representing the Mets in the HRDX—the abbreviation of the event that feels more like a discount pharmacy than a sporting event. Gonzalez will be representing the Los Angeles Dodgers in the event. For them, he belted 101 dingers in just under 3,000 plate appearances.
The tournament itself will pit representatives from four different clubs. Gonzalez has the Dodgers. Geovanny Soto has the Chicago Cubs. Jonny Gomes is there on behalf of the Boston Red Sox. Nick Swisher is the former New York Yankees player in the tournament.
This isn’t exactly the most enticing lineup to debut an event like this. Gonzalez hit almost as many home runs for the Dodgers as Soto did in his entire career (108). Gomes had 162 but only 19 with the Red Sox. Swisher had 105 of his 245 home runs come as a member of the Yankees which is a bit of a surprise.
It’s a unique mix with the big personalities of Gomes and Swisher making a lot of sense. We can assume Gonzalez and Soto were merely interested. No knock against Soto but wouldn’t a jacked Alfonso Soriano have been fun to see? He had 181 dingers for the Cubs.
If the Mets were involved in this tournament, we’d probably see Duda or even Yoenis Cespedes there. Cespedes would be the fun pick. Bartolo Colon would be the foolishly entertaining one. There’s always next time.