Bring the youth to the Derby

With professional sports under more and more scrutiny regarding the legitimacy of their all-star games and the events of the surrounding days, MLB has just missed a golden opportunity to bolster the ever popular home run derby and feature the games young stars.  I am a fan of the new NL vs. AL setup, but wouldn’t it be great to have the first batter of each team be a rookie eligible player?  Think about it, this year to jump start the derby it is Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.  What better way to showcase and give the nation a better way to get to know the faces of the future than in a laid back, up close and personal event like the derby?  Granted, not all years would be so great, but you can just about always guarantee at least one big name.  Last year, Freddie Freeman would have faced off against either Mark Trumbo or Eric Hosmer.  The previous year the AL would be at a bit of a disadvantage with Brennan Boesch facing Jason Heyward, and the year before that the hyped Gordon Beckham would have been matched against the unknown future star Andrew McCutchen.   Next year what better way for the casual baseball fan to get to know the future star of the Blue Jays than seeing Travis d’Arnaud in the derby?  And who better to face him than another little known, big hype prospect than a guy like Starling Marte?  Baseball needs to better market itself to the next generation of baseball fans, and the derby is one of the events that caters to them, so, MLB, do yourself a favor, and introduce the next generation of fans to the next generation of stars on a more personal, fun level, and make this addition to the Home Run Derby.

 

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