Madison Bumgarner is a yearly Cy Young Award candidate on the mound, but what often flies under the radar is his ability to hit.
The 26-year-old San Francisco Giants ace is one of the better-hitting pitchers we’ve ever seen. Bumgarner hit five home runs last season and four the year before, and owns two Silver Slugger awards for his accomplishments. In his last 194 plate appearances, he has hit 11 home runs, which is tied with former MVP Mike Trout for the MLB lead.
Bumgarner recently made headlines by crushing a ball into Big Mac land at Busch Stadium in St. Louis during batting practice — roughly a 460-foot towering shot to left field. After doing so, he told the media he’d like to participate in the Home Run Derby next month during All-Star week — a wild proposition for a pitcher in 2016.
But with MLB looking for ways to spice up the format — it’s new timed theme worked wonders last year in Cincinnati — letting a pitcher enter the competition isn’t the worst idea. How incredible would it be to see Bumgarner outpace the game’s best home run hitters in the prestigious derby?
Then again, there’s a reason the American League adopted the designated hitter and most National League pitchers don’t spend much energy trying to get better at the plate. It’s an injury concern, first and foremost, and when you’re paying someone the millions of dollars these guys now make, you want them to hone in on the specialty you’re paying to receive.
It’s certainly an interesting argument, and with Bumgarner on the mound Wednesday night against the Boston Red Sox in San Francisco for the first time since making those comments, we want to know: Do you think Bumgarner should participate in the Home Run Derby?
Check out how fans voted in the Dunkin’ Donuts poll results video above.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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