Six of eight names have been announced for the 2019 Home Run Derby, to be held next Monday night. The field does not yet include Shohei Ohtani, which is frankly an outrage. The good news is, the field does include Pirates masher Josh Bell, who is rounding into peak form exactly in time.
Bell delighted the home crowd Monday with quite a show, going 4-for-6 with seven runs batted in and three huge and impressive dingers in an 18–5 destruction of the Chicago Cubs. Bell’s first and third homers of the night were scalded, frightening laser shots; his second was a majestic bomb off an off-speed pitch he golfed out of the bottom of the strike zone:
Bell is up to 25 home runs on the season, by far the most of his MLB career. He will join Carlos Santana, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Christian Yelich, Pete Alonso, and Ronald Acuña Jr. in what is shaping up to be one of the coolest Derby fields we’ve had in a while. Yelich might be the favorite, but Bell is a hulking dong-smashing titan, and he appears to be reaching the height of his powers.