Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber to participate in 2022 Home Run Derby

Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Kyle Schwarber joins a short list of Phillies to appear in the Home Run Derby.

Kyle Schwarber has been tearing the cover off the ball lately, with 12 home runs in June and five so far in July.

And next week, Philadelphia Phillies fans will get their chance to see even more “Schwarbombs” during next week’s Midsummer Classic events at Dodger Stadium. Along with the All-Star Game, the Phillies announced on Tuesday that Kyle Schwarber will participate in the Home Run Derby.

As recently as Sunday when MLB announced his selection to the All-Star roster, Schwarber was undecided as to whether he would participate in the derby, saying he was “50-50.” The slugging outfielder described participating in the derby as a “bucket-list” experience, adding,

"“I did it once in 2018 and it’s fun. But it’s also taxing. You weigh the pros and cons.”"

The other confirmed derby participants who will join the current National League home runs leader are Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña Jr., Albert Pujols, and Pete Alonso. Schwarber will look to “dethrone” Alonso, who has won the last two contests (2019 in Cleveland and last year in Colorado).

However, with Bryce Harper (hand), Jean Segura (finger), Zack Eflin (knee), Alec Bohm (finger), Johan Camargo (knee), Ranger Suarez (back), and Nick Maton (shoulder) among the injured Phillies as of late, the question begs to be asked — is it smart for Schwarber to participate?

Schwarber is just the sixth different Phillies slugger to appear in the Home Run Derby since it began in 1985 — joining Jim Thome (2004); Bobby Abreu (2005); Ryan Howard (2006, 2007, 2009); Chase Utley (2008); and Rhys Hoskins (2018).

Coincidentally, Hoskins and Schwarber squared off in the second round of the 2018 derby — with the 2016 World Series champion besting Hoskins, 21 to 20. In the final round, Schwarber (18 HR) was outslugged by fellow future Phillie, Bryce Harper (19).

Schwarber and Harper are the only currently named 2022 National League All-Stars, although Zack Wheeler perhaps could be named for the second time in his career as a replacement.

Injury concerns aside for the postseason-hopeful Phillies, you have to love seeing Schwarber and other stars take part in the derby.