Found June 26, 2012 on Reading Between The Seams:

No Derby for Harper

Bad news for Bryce Harper fans… Matt Kemp, the National League captain for the 2012 MLB Home Run Derby, will not be picking Bryce Harper as one of the players to participate in the event. According to USA TODAY, Kemp says he likes Harper but others are capable. Apparently, Kemp has this four-man team picked out but declined to name those players. Kemp did say that he will be one of the participating members. Here’s what Kemp said, as reported by USA TODAY:

It’s not because he’s a rookie. It’s just that there are other guys out there that are capable. I’m not saying he wouldn’t do a good job in the Home Run Derby. He’s going to have plenty of time to participate in many Home Run Derbies. Just not this year. Nothing against him. I love watching him play.

Bryce Harper’s involvement would likely be a huge draw, as Harper has become one of the game’s most popular stars. One would wonder how MLB feels about this. Nonetheless, Kemp feels that Harper hasn’t hit enough home runs to have earned a spot in the event. Going into Tuesday’s game, Harper is batting .280 with seven home runs.

Matt Kemp has been on the disabled list with a strained hamstring. He has not ruled out playing in the All-Star Game. He has said that he must be in game shape prior to playing in the All-Star extravaganza.

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