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BALTIMORE — After making it known he was more than eager to participate, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has been officially selected to compete in next Monday’s Home Run Derby at Citi Field in New York.
Serving as the American League captain for the All-Star Game competition, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano selected Davis and Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder to join him in next Monday’s exhibition against the National League. Davis entered Monday leading the major leagues with 33 home runs, making his inclusion elementary once he share his desire to compete if selected.
“If I’m given the opportunity, I’m absolutely going to do it,” said Davis, who has joked that he treats every session of batting practice like it’s a home run derby. “So much attention is paid to the Home Run Derby, and there is so much hype around it. I’ve always looked at it as something I’d like to do.”
In Saturday’s loss to the Yankees, Davis tied his career highs with his 33rd homer and 85th RBI, matching his totals from last season. He is the only player in major league history to have 25 or more doubles, 30 or more home runs, and 85 or more RBIs prior to the All-Star Game, according to STATS.
His 33 homers are the most before the break since 2001 when Barry Bonds hit 39 and Luis Gonzalez had 35. Davis also broke Brandy Anderson’s franchise record for most four-baggers before the All-Star break (30) set in 1996.
Cano did not name the fourth slugger that will join him, Davis, and Fielder on the AL squad. Joining NL captain and New York Mets third baseman David Wright on the NL team will be Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer, both of the Colorado Rockies.
(Updated: Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was named to the team on Tuesday.)
Two Orioles have won the power-hitting exhibition in past years, Cal Ripken in 1991 and Miguel Tejada in 2004.