The Home Run Derby seems like fun and games, but it can really take a hitter out of his groove. Bobby Abreu with the Phillies several years back may be the posterchild for this, when he was barely able to hit a home run the second half of the season. There’s some data that suggests this is an actual swing.
Because of this fear, and largely because he father won’t be able to throw to him, Bryce Harper has decided to skip the derby.
Bryce Harper won't participate in HR Derby. Wants to stay in routine & says, more than anything, wouldn't feel right w/o dad throwing to him
— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) July 6, 2015