Why Rafael Devers Turned Down Chance To Compete In MLB’s Home Run Derby

'He feels like he's not a home run hitter in (batting practice)'

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Rafael Devers is one of five members of the Boston Red Sox who will play in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.

But none of them will be participating in the Home Run Derby, though the third baseman apparently was invited.

Appearing on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” on Thursday, manager Alex Cora shared that Devers was asked to show off his power in the skill challenge, but declined the invitation.

Why is that?

“I think they asked Raffy (Devers),” Cora said. “I’m not sure because that’s between MLB and the Players Association. He declined. He feels like he’s not a home run hitter in (batting practice).”

This season, Devers has hit 21 home runs while batting .286 with an OPS of .921. His manager would have loved to see him take part, but understands the decision.

“I wanted Raffy to do it,” Cora said. “Obviously, he got voted by the fans. To be part of this, people will know who Raffy Devers is. But I understand why not, and you respect that decision.”

The Home Run Derby is scheduled for Monday, one day before the All-Star Game itself on Tuesday.

Along with Devers, Boston will be represented by Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Nathan Eovaldi and Matt Barnes.

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