Yankees’ Sanchez, Judge to compete in HR Derby

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the Baby Bombers who lead the New York Yankees’ offense, will participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby at Miami on July 10.

Judge, a rookie who homered in his first major league at-bat last August, leads the majors with 27 home runs and tops the American League with a .327 batting average and 62 RBIs.

“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.”

Sanchez is hitting .289 with 13 homers and 40 RBIs despite missing nearly a month with a strained biceps.

“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.”

New York made the announcement Monday on Twitter before its game against Toronto.

Judge acknowledged a while back that he’d been invited by Major League Baseball to participate but said he didn’t think the timing was right to announce a decision. Focused on the Yankees’ season, he wanted to wait until All-Star rosters were revealed Sunday night.

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton will defend his title. Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger, who leads the National League with 24 homers, also said he will compete.

Despite his prodigious power and league-leading numbers, the 6-foot-7 Judge said he won’t feel any added pressure to win the derby at spacious Marlins Park.

“I’m just going out there to have fun,” he said.

By Paul Wager

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