Home Run Derby 2017: Who's in and who's out?

On Monday, July 10, a group of super-powered humans with immense strength will assemble in Miami to crush a faceless enemy. No, it’s not the Avengers, it’s the Home Run Derby participants.

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With the additions of Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon and Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, the 2017 Home Run Derby participants are set.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who some have compared to The Hulk, will attempt to once again smash his competitors as he looks to defend his title on his home turf.

He’ll be joined by New York Yankees standout rookie Aaron Judge, who had to think long and hard about accepting his invite before finally agreeing to participate, much to the delight of baseball fans everywhere.

Stanton and Judge may be the headliners, but they’ll be joined by a pretty excellent supporting cast. There’s no Hawkeye here, is what we’re saying.

Without further ado, here’s who will be participating in the 2017 MLB Home Run Derby: (sorted by total home runs)

  • Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees, 27 home runs
  • Cody Bellinger, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers, 24 home runs
  • Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals, 22 home runs
  • Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins, 21 home runs
  • Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins, 20 home runs
  • Justin Bour, 1B, Miami Marlins, 18 home runs
  • Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies, 17 home runs
  • Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees, 13 home runs

The number of home runs hit by each competitor comes into play for the actual contest. It determines seeding in the new format, which was introduced in 2015. Unless things change dramatically, Judge will be the first seed and will go head-to-head with Sanchez in the first round.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title. (AP Photo)

You’ll note that some pretty huge names are missing from that list. Some were asked, but declined. Some simply said “no chance.” Some didn’t even get an invite.

To clear up some confusion, we’ll chronicle some significant players below and let you know why they aren’t taking part in the event.

The following players ARE NOT in the 2017 Home Run Derby for one reason or another:

  • Bryce Harper: It’s unclear whether he was asked, but Harper said there was “no chance” he was doing it following Sunday’s game. (Given his popularity, he was probably asked and said no.)
  • Joey Gallo: The Texas Rangers’ slugger was asked, but bowed out because he wanted to focus on other aspects of his game.
  • George Springer: In June, Springer said he wasn’t a fan of the Derby.
  • Joey Votto: Votto had initially expressed interest, but turned down the invite when asked. He wants to remain healthy and focus on the second half.
  • Kris Bryant: It’s unclear whether Bryant was asked to participate. In April, he said he didn’t have interest in the event.
  • Ichiro Suzuki: Hey, we can dream, right?

Just because your favorite player didn’t make it doesn’t mean they weren’t asked. A lot of players simply don’t want to take part, or don’t want to risk injury. So, before you get mad about Nolan Arenado or Paul Goldschmidt being passed over, remember that it’s possible they said no.

Twins third baseman Miguel Sano could be a sleeper in the Home Run Derby. (AP Photo)

With the field set, it will be interesting to see if anyone can take down Stanton. He did put on one of the best Derby shows we’ve ever seen in 2016.

If anyone is going to accomplish that feat, Judge seems to be the most likely candidate. Stanton seems to think they have a lot in common.

If you ask us, Miguel Sano looks like a bit of a sleeper at the moment. He doesn’t have the same national profile as Cody Bellinger or Gary Sanchez, but he can hit moonshots with the best of ’em.

The whole thing is a crapshoot, of course. Anyone can get hot and win the Home Run Derby. You might want to make fun of Justin Bour for being invited, but remember Adam Duvall put on an impressive show last year before Todd Frazier took him out in the semifinals.

The 2017 MLB Home Run Derby will take place Monday, July 10 at Marlins Park in Miami. The contest will air on FOX. Tune in at 8 p.m. ET to see whether Stanton can retain his title.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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