Fielder set to put on show at Derby
Brewers slugger one of four NL first basemen in event
MILWAUKEE -- Prince Fielder will swing for the fences at next week's All-Star State Farm Home Run Derby.
Major League Baseball announced on Monday that the four first basemen on the National League All-Star team will participate in the event: Fielder, Albert Pujols of the Cardinals, Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres and Ryan Howard of the Phillies."That was a cool idea, man," Fielder said. "The fans like it. I know the All-Star Game is 'for real' and everything, but I feel like it's more for the fans. If they want to see me, I'll be there." The fans voiced that wish in an online poll hosted by State Farm that allowed them to pick the players they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. Fielder finished third among NL players, behind Pujols and Howard. The Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, July 13. The 80th All-Star Game will be held the following day on Tuesday, July 14. The Brewers were off Monday when MLB made its announcement, but Fielder confirmed his interest the day before, after the All-Star teams were unveiled. He was eliminated in the first round of the event in 2007 in San Francisco after hitting three home runs. Fielder, Howard and Pujols are repeat Derby participants. Entering Monday's games, Pujols led Major League Baseball with 31 home runs and Gonzalez was tied for the second-highest total with 24. Fielder's 22 homers were tied for fourth in the NL, and Howard was seventh with 20. The four American League participants have yet to be announced, but the NL field is set, and it doesn't include fellow Brewers All-Star Ryan Braun, who took part in last summer's Derby at Yankee Stadium. That likely came as good news to Milwaukee's medical staff, which has worked extensively with Braun this season to avoid flare-ups of a rib-cage injury that began giving him trouble last August. "I couldn't add anything to those guys they picked, anyway," Braun said.
Braun ranks second on the Brewers with 16 home runs. He will start in the outfield for the NL in Tuesday's All-Star Game, while Fielder is a reserve.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.