06/27/12 12:25 PM ET
Kemp says he won't pick Harper for Derby
By Adam Berry / MLB.com
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, the National League team's captain, told USA Today that he likes the Nationals' 19-year-old phenom, but he won't be adding him to the roster of sluggers for the July 9 Home Run Derby in Kansas City.
"It's not because he's a rookie. It's just that there are other guys out there that are capable," Kemp told USA Today. "I'm not saying he wouldn't do a good job in the Home Run Derby. He's going to have plenty of time to participate in many Home Run Derbies. Just not this year. Nothing against him. I love watching him play."
Harper has hit seven homers in 52 games this season, the third most among Washington players behind Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond. Harper has also recorded 11 doubles and four triples, giving him a .480 slugging percentage to go along with his .278 average and .357 on-base percentage.
Harper's power became almost legendary when he was gaining fame as a young teenager. When he was 16 years old, he clobbered a 502-foot blast at Tropicana Field -- the longest in the stadium's history.