SAN FRANCISCO -- In his first experience as a Home Run Derby captain, Mets third baseman David Wright said he wanted to simplify the process of rounding out the rest of the National League squad as much possible.
To do so, Wright said he picked up a newspaper to see who led the league in home runs -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez -- and chose him. Next, he honored the fan vote and selected Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who "won that running away." Lastly, he used his powers as captain to choose his friend and fellow Virginian Michael Cuddyer with his final pick.
Although Cuddyer is not regarded as a pure power hitter and entered play Monday tied for ninth in the league in home runs, Wright said Cuddyer is a worthy candidate.
"I grew up with Michael," said Wright, who will represent the league at his home ballpark, Citi Field. "I think that he's one of the more underrated players and a friend, and our relationship had a lot to do with it and his production had a lot to do with it. He has 15 home runs and had a 27-game hitting streak, so, for me, that was my choice."
"I really am sorry that Carlos Beltran, Domonic Brown, [Paul] Goldschmidt, [Joey] Votto, [Pedro] Alvarez [weren't selected] -- they were all obviously on the original list," Wright said. "The three guys I asked to do it all said yes and jumped at it.
"It's a lot tougher than you would think it is. You don't want to leave anybody out and there are obviously guys I left out. I apologize for that, but some people had to be left out."
It's Wright's second Home Run Derby appearance. He finished second to Philadelphia's Ryan Howard in 2006 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
The 2013 Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on July 15. In Canada, the derby will be televised by Rogers Sportsnet.
Fans can also download the official MLB.com Home Run Derby Game, featuring 24 sluggers from the 2010-2012 Home Run Derby events. Connect and challenge gamers on the worldwide leaderboards. It's available for free on the Apple App Store.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Andrew Owens is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @OwensAndrew. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.