For those unfamiliar with the talents of Madison Bumgarner, the 26-year-old Hickory, North Carolina-native is more than just the ace of the San Francisco Giants pitching staff. Bumgarner, while mainly known for his exceptional ability to hurl the ball 60 feet and six inches to home plate, has also developed into one of, if not the best-hitting pitcher in all of professional baseball. In his last 190 major league at-bats, Bumgarner has slugged 11 home runs, which is just as good as some of the league’s top home run hitters. According to USA-Today Sports, Bumgarner told ESPN’s Buster Olney that he wants to take part in this summer’s State Farm Home Run Derby in San Diego. However, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy stated to reporters that he won’t allow for Bumgarner to take part in the annual mid-summer slugfest because he doesn’t want Madison to wear himself out for the second half of the season.
“No, to be serious, I couldn’t let him do it. We couldn’t let him do it. It would be a load of fun; we’d love to see it. I would, too,” said Bochy. “And Bum, he’s convinced he could win it. I think he would wear himself down in the first round, he’d try to hit it so hard.”
Madison Bumgarner will almost certainly still be present for the Home Run Derby this summer in San Diego, as his 7-2 record and 1.91 ERA are very well deserving of a spot on the National League’s All-Star Game lineup. Take a good look at these absolute bombs that have come off the barrel of the bat of Madison Bumgarner the last two seasons and forget about the fact that they are coming from a pitcher. If these moonshots don’t convince you that this guy deserves a spot in the Home Run Derby than I don’t know what will.
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Madison Bumgarner may only have two home runs thus far in 2016 (tied for most amongst MLB pitchers with the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard), but his 13 career blasts lead all active MLB pitchers. The way the ball flies off of Bumgarner’s bat during batting practice would have many believing that he is a Silver Slugger-winning positional player, not a pitcher. It’s a shame that Madison Bumgarner will not be taking part in the 2016 Home Run Derby, but his ability to strike guys out while also being able to rip 400-foot blasts is something no other pitcher in all of baseball can match.