Yankees’ Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez enter Home Run Derby

New York Yankees rookie sensation Aaron Judge and teammate Gary Sanchez announced Monday that they will participate in the Home Run Derby next week in Miami.

The announcement was made via the Yankees’ Twitter account after both players took time to consider their invitations, which were made last month.

Judge leads the majors in home runs with 27. He also leads the American League in batting average (.327) and RBIs (62). Last month, Judge hit a 496-foot home run against the Baltimore Orioles, the longest distance a home run has traveled since ESPN began tracking home runs in 2009.

“I’m excited,” he said Monday. “We’ve got a good group of guys going. Getting a chance to go up against Gary is going to be fun. So I think we’re both looking forward to that.”

Despite missing 21 games this season with a right biceps injury, Sanchez is fourth on the Yankees with 13 home runs this season, nine of them coming in June. He made headlines as a rookie last summer, hitting 11 home runs during a 15-game stretch in August.

“I think it’s going to be special,” Sanchez said through a translator. “I’m pretty sure the fans are going to enjoy it. I’m pretty sure that the excitement will be through the roof, and if I don’t win, I want Judge to win.”

The derby will be held at Marlins Park in Miami on July 10. The Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton will defend his title after winning last year at San Diego’s Petco Park. Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger, who leads the National League with 24 homers, also says he will compete.

Judge, Sanchez book the date: They’ll take their swings at HR Derby

Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have quickly made their marks as home run hitters. Here are their credentials for the Home Run Derby.


  • Judge hits longest HR since tracking began

    Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit a 496-foot home run against the Orioles, marking the longest homer in the majors since tracking began in 2009.

  • “Never really dreamed that it would actually happen. It was pretty surreal,” Judge said after initially being invited in June.

    Yankees manager Joe Girardi said last month he isn’t worried about Judge picking up bad habits in his swing due to repeated exertion in the derby and extra batting practice before the event.

    “I watch him take BP, and he uses the whole field. So he’ll do the same thing,” Girardi said. “Players, you want them to go enjoy the All-Star Game, because it’s something they’ve earned. But you do worry about fatigue for those guys, because they’ve got to travel. The good thing is we have a Sunday day game here. It’ll be easy to get down there. So it shouldn’t be too bad.”

    Judge led the American League in All-Star votes and will start in the 88th Midsummer Classic.

    ESPN, which televises the derby, hoped Judge would join the competition.

    “Fans would truly anticipate and enjoy having Aaron Judge, one of game’s top young stars, take part in this great annual baseball showcase,” network spokesman Josh Krulewitz said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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