Since mid-June, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of baseball’s hottest teams, while the San Francisco Giants have cooled considerably.

As a result, the Dodgers have made up much of the distance that separated them and the NL West leaders. The Dodgers reached the official midpoint of the season with an exciting win Thursday over the St. Louis Cardinals.

With the All-Star game just over two weeks away, fan voting and campaigns orchestrated by various teams are in full swing. Part of the All-Star festivities of course includes the Home Run Derby, which will have a new format this year.

Yasiel Puig expressed his desire to participate and Don Mattingly believes he would excel in the competition, according to Ken Gurnick and Michael Lananna of MLB.com:

I think he would be really good, really good,” Mattingly said of Puig, who has 11 homers this season. “I’d like his chances to win the thing.”

As for whether or not participating in the Derby will affect Puig’s swing, Mattingly dismissed the notion:

You watch these guys take BP, they launch them all the time,” Mattingly said. “I think some guys are better than other guys at it.”

Reports Saturday indicated Troy Tulowitzki extended an invitation to Giancarlo Stanton to join the National League’s team, which the Miami Marlins right fielder accepted.

Entering Saturday, Puig has 11 home runs this season; tying him for second on the Dodgers and for 25th in the NL. After hitting eight home runs in May, Puig has yet to hit one in June. Not only has the Dodger right fielder failed to continue hitting home runs, he’s declined in nearly every statistical category.

While a spot in the Home Run Derby may be in question, Puig appears bound for Minnesota to play in the Midsummer Classic. As of the most recent update, Puig leads all NL outfielders in fan voting.
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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

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