When the 2022 Home Run Derby takes place at Dodger Stadium next month, the current MLB home run leader will not be there. New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said he will again pass on the Home Run Derby, according to the New York Post. Judge has not participated in the event since winning the 2017 Home Run Derby.
“Nope. No need,” Judge told the New York Post when asked about the Home Run Derby. “I already did it once. I’m all good with that.”
Judge came into Thursday with a major league leading 25 home runs — no other player has more than 18 homers — and he is one of the game’s biggest stars, so surely MLB is disappointed at his continued lack of participation. The Home Run Derby is a marquee event and the league wants its best and brightest involved, which is why they recently created the $1 million prize.
Following that 2017 Home Run Derby win, Judge acknowledged it exacerbated a shoulder injury he suffered crashing into the wall a few weeks earlier. He needed surgery on the shoulder after the season.
“(The 2017 Home Run Derby) affected me because I hurt my shoulder,” Judge said in 2019. “But my swing-wise, no. I was just taking BP. That was probably the worst thing having to hear every single day, people saying, ‘Did it affect you?’ Nah, it was a day of BP. It doesn’t really affect me. If I didn’t get hurt, it would have been a different story.”
Judge has indicated he would be open to participating in the Home Run Derby if it ever returns to New York. New York last hosted the All-Star Game in 2013, when it was held at Citi Field, home of the Mets. The Yankees last hosted the All-Star Game in 2008, in the final year of the old Yankee Stadium.
MLB has already selected All-Star Game venues for 2023 (T-Mobile Park in Seattle) and 2026 (Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia). The earliest the new Yankee Stadium could host the All-Star Game is 2024. Judge, of course, will become a free agent after the season. He may not still be a Yankee by then.
The 2022 Home Run Derby will take place Monday, July 18. No player has committed to the Home Run Derby yet. Voting for the All-Star Game starters is now underway.