Mike Moustakas will become Royals’ first Home Run Derby participant in 26 years

SEATTLE — Well, Mike Moustakas is headed to Miami no matter what.

Moustakas, the Royals’ third baseman, will be the club’s first participant in the Home Run Derby in 26 years. He will compete next Monday at Marlins Park in Miami, the Royals confirmed.

When Moustakas takes his swings in the competition, which is part of the All-Star Game festivities, he will do so as a Royals record holder.

In the second inning of the Royals’ game Monday night in Seattle, Moustakas clubbed his 23rd home run of the season — a 396-foot laser beam down the right-field line. No player in Royals history had ever hit more than 22 homers before the All-Star break.

Moustakas, 28, is on pace to shatter the Royals’ franchise record of 36 homers in a season, set by Steve Balboni in 1985. The 23rd home run is a career record for Moustakas, who moved into a tie for fourth-most in the American League this season.

That’s why he was a prime candidate for The Home Run Derby, which features an eight-man field. Joining Moustakas will be the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton and Justin Bour, the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, the Twins’ Miguel Sano and the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon.

The full field and Moustakas’ inclusion was first reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The last Royals player to compete in the Home Run Derby was Danny Tartabull in 1991. Tartabull hit two homers in the first round and did not advance.

Bo Jackson competed in the Home Run Derby in 1989. Jackson hit just one in the competition, but famously opened the bottom of the first inning of the All-Star Game with a home run to center field and later was voted the Most Valuable Player of the game.

Moustakas’ spot in the All-Star Game is a possibility, but not a sure thing. He is one of five finalists in the Final Vote contest in the American League. He is competing against Tampa Bay’s Logan Morrison, New York’s Didi Gregorius, Boston’s Xander Bogaerts and Texas’ Elvis Andrus.

At the very least, Moustakas will be cheered on at the Home Run Derby by a pair of teammates: catcher Salvador Perez and left-hander Jason Vargas have already been chosen to the American League All-Star team.

Just Posted

WATCH: Christmas Wish Breakfast toy donations almost double

All toys donated Sunday will be given to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau and Red Deer Salvation Army

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hold candlelight vigil

Four-and-a-half years ago Marilyn Rinas’ husband was killed in a collision with… Continue reading

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month