Friday, July 10, 2009

Mauer in Home Run Derby

Yes, that Mauer. And, yes, it's the Home Run Derby.

Twins catcher Joe Mauer has accepted an invite to Monday night's Home Run Derby in St. Louis. Known as anything but a power hitter over the first part of his career, Mauer has exploded for a career-high 15 home runs so far this season, and remember that he missed the first month of the year.

The American League roster is not set yet, but we do know that the National League is sending out four first-basemen. St. Louis superstar/MVP shoo-in Albert Pujols, Milwaukee's Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard of the Phillies, and San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez will all take part.

As for Mauer, Joe Fan might poo-poo his chances, but don't count him out. As manager Ron Gardenhire told, "He'd probably win it. You know it and I know it -- just to let people know he can hit home runs. Nothing would surprise me that Joe does."

With defending champion Justin Morneau already having declined an invite, this is a chance to keep the crown in the family, so to speak. Mauer could also become the first Minnesota native to win. Actually, I believe he's the first Minnesota native to compete, but I'm sure you'll skewer me in the comments if I'm wrong.

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