Josh Bell will compete in Monday night's MLB All-Star Home Run Derby in Cleveland — and rightly so. He's been a man possessed in 2019.
At the All-Star break, Bell is slashing .302/.376/.648 with a 1.024 OPS to go alongside 27 home runs and 84 RBIs.
Yes, 84 RBIs — the most in MLB. He also has 60 extra-base hits, the most in National League history at the All-Star break. Ever. All-time.
To call Bell's 2019 campaign to this point "historic" is no stretch, and while any comparison to Willie Stargell in Pittsburgh is usually met with a groan and a roll of the eyes, Bell has done everything to deserve it this season.
In May, Bell was named the NL's Player of the Month, racking up 12 doubles, 12 home runs and 94 total bases. His 12 doubles and 12 home runs put him alongside Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson as the only players to ever tally 12 of each in a calendar month.
“I’m jealous how easy it is,” Bell's teammate Colin Moranwas telling me back in May in Cincinnati. “It’s just too easy. He’s so talented. He can do it all. He can take you deep and then he can, you know, two strikes take-through a ball and take a single. He’s so talented that, in all seriousness, it’s just fun to watch.”
We could go on ... or we could just show you all 27 home runs to-date right here:
Want a condensed version?
We got that too — all 27 of Bell's home runs presented in a tidy, 56-second video:
Maybe you just want to watch his longest home run of the season instead? We got that — a 474-foot blast over the batter's eye at PNC Park — singled out right here:
More into waterlogged baseballs? Say no more. Bell ripped this one 472 feet out of right field and into the Allegheny River — on the fly:
What we're saying here is that Bell can smash a baseball, so you might want to watch him tonight in the Home Run Derby, then catch him again Tuesday night as the NL's starting designated hitter during the actual All-Star Game.
Our own John Perrotto will be live on the scene with all the coverage of those events from Cleveland. Enjoy the show.