will be the captain for the host NL team during tonight's event. (Icon SMI)
Speaking to the media in Citi Field's Jackie Robinson Rotunda this afternoon, David Wright explained his thought process in picking this year's National League Home Run Derby team:
“Carlos Gonzalez was my original pick. He was leading the league in home runs at the time that I picked the team, so that was the easy one. Bryce Harper . . . The Home Run Derby’s for the fans. Bryce Harper won the fan poll for who the fans wanted to see in the Home Run Derby, won it overwhelmingly. Not even close. So, since this is for the fans, I thought it was fair to put him on the team. Then the third pick was, you know, my pick. I grew up with Michael [Cuddyer]. He’s a friend of mine, and I think he’s one of the more underrated players in the game. He’s got 16 homers. He had a 27-game hit streak. I thought he was well deserving. There was 10 or 15 guys I would have loved to have on this team. Unfortunately, or I guess fortunately, all of the guys that I asked said yes first.
Unfortunately, CarGo can’t participate, so I felt Pedro Alvarez] was the next most deserving. And I’m sure there’s some disappointed players, sure there’s some disappointed cities. When you can only pick three, that’s tough. . . . You want them to say yes, but you kind of want them to say no so you can move on and pick more people, but all three of them jumped at the opportunity. I had guys petitioning to do this a month ago."
As for his own involvement, Wright added, "I probably wouldn’t be invited to participate in any Home Run Derbies if the venue was anywhere but here, but I’m glad they chose me. I like the theme of New York-New York, me versus Robbie [Cano], so it should be fun.”
CORCORAN: Your guide to the 2013 Home Run Derby