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The Best Show Ever?: Weekdays 2pm – 6pm

The Best Show Ever?: Weekdays 2pm – 6pm

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 10: National League All-Star Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies participates in the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby at PNC Park on July 10, 2006 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

On All-Star weekend, Alec Bohm is set to become the 6th Phillies player to ever compete in the HR Derby. He joins Pete Alonso, Bobby Witt Jr, Teoscar Hernandez, Marcell Ozuna, Jose Ramirez, Adolis Garcia, and Gunnar Henderson

There have only been 5 Phillies to compete, but this is the 9th time a Phillies player has competed. Ryan Howard made up 3 of those past 8 times. Other Phillies to compete include Jim Thome, Chase Utley, Bobby Abreu, Rhys Hoskins, and Kyle Schwarber. Bryce Harper has also competed, but not in a Phillies jersey.

DETROIT - JULY 11: National League All-Star Bobby Abreu #53 of the Philadelphia Phillies watches a home run during the 2005 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby at Comerica Park on July 11, 2005 in Detroit, Michigan.
(Photo By Joanthan Daniel/Getty Images)

Alec Bohm An Odd Choice For The HR Derby

Rhys Hoskins is having an amazing season. He leads the league in doubles and is 4th in RBIs. His OPS is on track to be over .800 for the 1st time since his rookie season.

With that said, he is still not much of a power hitter. Last year he set a new career high with 20 HR. This year he is on pace to match that total, with 11 HRs through 88 games. Power has never been his calling card.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JUNE 22: Alec Bohm #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated after he hit a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on June 22, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Every year seems to have someone like that though. A guy not exactly known for power. Hitting HRs in what is essentially batting practice is different than hitting them in games. They say Bohm tends to hit the ball a long way in BP. So maybe he will outperform his typical power numbers in this year’s derby.

We have seen that when he does hit a HR, they tend to go a long way. Bohm’s lower power numbers aren’t due to him lacking strength, it is more because of his approach at the plate. He sacrifices a bit of power to be more consistent. If he decided to be a power hitter, he probably could add more pop to his game at the cost of his batting average dropping.

But how will he fare in the HR Derby? How did the past Phillies participants do? Let’s run through the last 8 times a Phillies play took part in the Derby before Bohm becomes the 9th one to compete.

Here Is How It Has Gone The Last 8 Times A Phillies Player Took Part In The HR Derby:

  • Jim Thome (2004)

    Thome was the first Phillies player to ever compete in the Derby. He was coming off an unforgettable season where he slugged 47 homers. It was the year Citizens Bank Park opened. Thome had only recently hit the 400th HR of his career. Thome had 28 homers on the year coming into the derby. So the circumstances around his HR derby participation were incredible.

    Unfortunately, his actual performance was far less impressive. The Pride Of Peoria hit only 4 home runs in the Derby. He finished in 6th place and was eliminated in the 1st round. The Derby itself was pretty entertaining. Barry Bonds put on a show, hitting one home run off the Minute Maid Park scoreboard, and also hilariously began the derby by being intentionally walked, which of course is something he was very used to by this point in his career.

    Miguel Tejada eventually won this derby. It was a memorable derby overall, just not for the Phillies or Jim Thome.

  • Bobby Abreu (2005)

    Now Bobby Abreu’s HR Derby performance was anything but forgettable. Not only did he win, but he set what was at the time the record for a HR Total in the derby with 41 total. A record no one would beat until 2016, when Giancarlo Stanton smashed it. But now, so many people have beat it that Abreu doesn’t even appear in the top 10 anymore.

    At the time it was incredible though. No one had even reached 30 before him. And he went in and hit 41 of them. He started it by putting up 24 in the first round. The total record before him was 27. So in just one round he nearly hit more than every HR Derby participant before him. He slowed down a bit afterward, hitting 6 in round 2, and then 11 in the Final Round to beat Ivan Rodriguez.

    He hit 21 more homers than any of his competition. He put on a show, to become the first Phillies player to ever win the derby. He would not be the last, as we saw the next year.

  • Ryan Howard (2006)

    Ryan Howard wins 2006 Derby | 07/10/2006

    7/10/2006: Phillies slugger Ryan Howard tops David Wright in the final round to claim the 2006 Home Run Derby title at PNC Park

    It says a lot about Ryan Howard that winning the 2006 HR Derby was probably the least memorable part of his season. He put up what is still probably the best single season from any Phillies hitter. Swatting 58 home runs, winning the MVP, while hitting .313. Beating the hated David Wright in the finals of the HR Derby? The icing on the cake.

    Howard just snuck out of the first round. Of the 4 players to advance, he had the lowest total, with just 8 compared to David Wright’s 16. But as many know, the derby is a marathon and not a sprint. And while his competitors lost steam, Howard gained it. He led the way in round 2 with 10, which brought him into a tie with David Wright for the total, who only hit 2 in that round. They both advanced to the Finals. Wright went up first and hit 4. It took Ryan Howard only 5 of his 10 outs to get to 5 and win it all.

    No Phillies player has won the derby since Howard. Not only did he win. Not only was it close enough that many Philly fans could travel with the All-Star game taking place in Pittsburgh that year. But he went through one of the most hated players in Philadelphia at the time to do so. Ask a Phillies fan what they think of David Wright and you will get an earful. It was good to see him swatted down by Ryan Howard.

  • Ryan Howard (2007)

    Vlad wins 2007 Home Run Derby | 07/09/2007

    7/9/2007: Vladimir Guerrero defeats seven other competitors to win the 2007 Home Run Derby in San Francisco

    Ryan Howard could not carry the HR Derby magic into 2007. He was a first-round exit this year, getting only 3. It was an important year for the Phillies for other reasons, with them making a miraculous run to win the NL East, and Howard’s teammate Jimmy Rollins winning MVP. But Phillies fans did not get the show in the derby they had gotten the previous two years.

    It broke up the Phillies two year HR Derby winning streak. But it began a long streak of the Phillies winning the NL East. I think any Phillies fan will take the trade. HR Derbies are fun. Rings and beating the Mets is better.

  • Chase Utley (2008)

     

    Chase Utley

    (Photo by: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

    The part of Chase Utley’s HR Derby that people remember is not his performance. That part was mostly forgettable. He hit only 5 and finished in 7th place. What people do remember however is what happened when he was introduced. It was in Yankees Stadium. In case you didn’t know, Chase Utley is not a popular man in New York City. Predictably he was booed. To which Utley responded “Boo? F**K You.” while mic’d up. It was vintage Utley. And while some people with no sense of humor got upset about it, it was a great moment.

    This derby was perhaps more well known for the show Josh Hamilton put on. He hit a single round record 28 homeruns in round 1. That record stood until 2019 when both Joc Pederson and Vlad Guerrero Jr passed it in the 2nd round. Hamilton would not win the HR Derby though. The first round used up all his energy. He went on to lose to Justin Morneau in the final round.

    Utley did not perform well in the HR Derby. But he came out of the year with something better, a World Series Ring. A World Series that led to another infamous hot mic moment for Utley at the parade. When Utley wasn’t winning a World Series, he spent most of his time making donations to the swear jar in 2008. No wonder he didn’t have the energy to perform very well in this HR Derby.

  • Ryan Howard (2009)

    Ryan Howard

    (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    This would be the last HR Derby Ryan Howard competed in. It would also be the last time any Phillies competed at all for nearly a decade after this. They had gone 6 straight years having a representative. But from 2010 to 2017 no one from the Phillies competed. Howard put on a pretty decent show. He finished third after hitting 15 home runs in rounds 1 and 2. He couldn’t keep pace with Prince Fielder and Nelson Cruz. Fielder went on to beat Cruz in the finals.

  • Rhys Hoskins (2018)

    Rhys finally broke a streak to get the Phillies back in the HR Derby. And he put on a pretty good show. He finished 3rd, but that’s only because he ran into Kyle Schwarber who put on even more of a show. The two faced off in round 2. Hoskins hit 20. But Schwarber just edged him out with 21. Funnily enough, Schwarber went on to lose to another future Phillie, Bryce Harper. So 3 of the final 4 in this HR Derby, and both finalists are currently Phillies.

    Hoskins began the night with an upset win over the 1 seed. He faced off against Jesus Aguilar. The MLB Leader in Homers, vs the guy in the derby with the least homers before the break. And Hoskins pulled it out. And contrary to the popular belief that the derby breaks your swing, it seemed to get Hoskins going. After hitting 14 homers in the first half, Hoskins closed out the year with 20 more.

  • Kyle Schwarber (2022)

     

    Despite hitting 19 HRS in the first round, Kyle Schwarber did not make it to round 2. He ran into the great story that was Albert Pujols, who was of course playing in his final season. Albert Pujols hit 20 in round 1 to just beat Kyle Schwarber. Some people think Schwarber intentionally held back to let Pujols win. He did start out slow, then caught fire late.

    There were also accusations that the count was off and that Kyle Schwarber actually hit 20, and one of them was not counted. After hitting just 13 in regulation, he caught fire in OT. He was credited with 6, but if you go back and look, it seems like he hit 7. There should have been an extra OT. But there was not. Kyle Schwarber didn’t complain, so it is probably not worth us complaining either.

    19 was actually the 3rd lowest score in the 1st round. Juan Soto, who went on to win it, hit 18 in round 1. His opponent Jose Ramirez hit just 17. Ronald Acuna also hit 19 in round 1, losing to Pete Alonso who hit 20.

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