Luis Robert Jr. announced on his Instagram account earlier today that he will participate in the 2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby in Seattle on Monday, July 10, at 7 p.m. CT. Robert is the No. 1 seed in the tournament and will face off against Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman.
La Pantera is the first member of the White Sox to participate since Todd Frazier did so in San Diego in 2016. Frazier won the year prior when he was with the Cincinnati Reds, but lost in 2016 despite hitting 42 bombs to Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 61. Frank Thomas is the only Pale Hose to ever win the contest in 1995, out-hitting future teammate Albert Belle. The inaugural Derby was held in 1985 at the Metrodome in Minnesota, with White Sox catcher and future Hall-of-Famer Carlton Fisk coming in second to winner Dave Parker.
Robert currently has 25 round-trippers, which ties him with Pete Alonso for third place overall in MLB. He is on pace to have a 47-home run season, which would rank him second on the White Sox all-time single-season list behind only Albert Belle, who hit 49 in 1998, and ahead of Jermaine Dye, who hit 44 in 2006.
Robert’s participation comes as a bit of a surprise. When asked earlier about participating in the Derby, Robert expressed disinterest and said he wasn’t a pure home-run hitter. Clearly, something or someone changed his mind, which is terrific. It will be exciting for White Sox fans to watch our superstar shine in the lights of T-Mobile Park. Playing in his fourth season on the South Side, Robert is slashing .276/.336/.580 with a .916 OPS and a 148 wRC+.
Luis Robert Jr. is ready to put on a show. pic.twitter.com/Zcfbk9ak1o— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 5, 2023
Luis will have his work cut out for him against some of the best in the game. Here are the previously-announced participants:
Alonso won the Derby in 2019 and 2021 and is currently tied for third in the league with Robert with 25 dingers. Matt Olsen of the Atlanta Braves sits in second place with 28 behind league-leading Shohei Ohtani, who has 31. Neither Olsen nor Ohtani appear to be participating in the contest, however, with one final spot in the field to be filled. The entire bracket will be announced tonight on ESPN at 6 p.m. CT.
Will you tune in to watch Luis Robert Jr. in the Home Run Derby?
This poll is closed
I wouldn’t miss it
If I remember, I’ll try to watch
No, it’s all for show