Bryce Harper apparently won’t have the chance to showcase his talents in the Home Run Derby.
National League captain Matt Kemp told USA Today that while he likes the Washington Nationals‘ young phenom, he will not pick him to be part of the festivites at next month’s All-Star Game in Kansas City.
“It’s not because he’s a rookie. It’s just that there are other guys out there that are capable,” Kemp told the newspaper. “I’m not saying he wouldn’t do a good job in the Home Run Derby. He’s going to have plenty of time to participate in many Home Run Derbies. Just not this year. Nothing against him. I love watching him play.”
The top pick in the 2010 draft, Harper has attracted national attention since his debut on April 28 — a game which Kemp won for the Los Angeles Dodgers with a walk-off homer.
Just 19 years old, Harper entered Tuesday batting .280 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 51 games. The teenager has provided a jolt of energy for the Nationals, who are in first place in the NL East.
Harper also has sparked T-shirt lines and Congressional wisecracks for his famous, “That’s a clown question, bro” response to an ill-conceived query from a reporter in Toronto.
Kemp, who led the NL with 39 homers last season, said he already has his four-member team in place, although he declined to name the players other than saying he’ll be one of them.
Kemp, who has been on the disabled with a strained hamstring since May 31, said he chose the participants based on stats.
“That’s how I got in last year,” Kemp said. “I had a lot of home runs in the first half. So you have to take that into consideration.”
Report: Kemp won’t pick Harper for HR Derby
ESPN.com – MLB
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