Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vlad Guerrero Jr. won the 2023 MLB Home Run Derby on Monday, but one of the non-home run hits he belted hit a kid in the face while shagging balls in the outfield.
The incident has left some fans wondering whether MLB should continue to trot out children to shag fly balls when they're flying at such high rates of speed.
Los Angeles Dodgers writer Blake Harris reported that the ball traveled into left field at 115.8 mph, according to the New York Post.
it might be time to take the kids out of the outfield pic.twitter.com/QRhXypQTzy
— Gavin McHugh (@gavinmchughh) July 11, 2023
Fortunately, the kid seemed to be OK and was seen being treated with an ice pack as the crowd cheered him on.
Kid is all treated with an ice pack. Crowd cheered for him. pic.twitter.com/zZEbEQezn6
— Tommy (@RealTomBentley) July 11, 2023
Following the incident, Guerrero went on to win the derby, hitting 25 home runs in the final round and beating out Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena. In total, Guerrero hit 72 home runs.
A kid was also hit during the 2021 Home Run Derby, infamously by a ball off the bat of New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso — and as the kid was being helped off the field, Alonso was dancing at home plate. Of course, he probably didn't realize what just occurred.
Never forget this Home Run Derby Moment:
Pete Alonso nailing a kid in the head and the cameraman cutting from the kid getting helped off the field to Alonso dancing
— CCC? (@ChiClemUCasual) July 11, 2023
Should MLB Switch Up the Shagging Process?
Some might be wondering whether kids should continue shagging balls in the outfield during the Home Run Derby. It's been an excellent tradition, and kids are chosen through "MLB community groups, partnerships and contests," according to the New York Post.
What do you think? Should kids continue shagging balls during the Home Run Derby? Do we let a few incidents define this tradition? Should we not risk their health? If it continues to happen, MLB might need to reconsider who it puts out in the outfield during the storied midsummer event.
The Home Run Derby precedes the MLB All-Star Game, which takes place Tuesday night, July 11, at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
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