MINNEAPOLIS — The swagger Daniel Vogelbach exudes in front of teammates is often missing in his moments with the media. Deferential to veterans and respectful of the game, he is cautious in what he says on the record.
So when he was asked about getting fans and the Mariners to campaign for him to participate in this year’s home run derby in Cleveland, his response was measured. But it was clear he would relish the opportunity.
“I don’t really know if I’d campaign for myself, but it’s definitely something I would do,” he said. “If they asked me to do it, I would definitely do it. I think it’d be fun. It’s just another competitive thing I’d be willing to do.”
He participated in the 2017 Class AAA home run derby at Cheney Stadium, finishing second to the Red Sox’s Bryce Brentz.
Vogelbach hit his 17th homer of the season in Wednesday’s win over the Twins. He’s second on the team behind Edwin Encarnacion, who leads the American League with 21 homers. Vogelbach, sixth in the American League in homers, is hitting a homer in every 11.7 at-bats.
“It’s certainly a huge deal and great for exposure for players,” M’s manager Scott Servais said. “Vogey is kind of having a breakout year. It would be great if he got that opportunity. Sometimes the home-run hitting contest isn’t the best thing for players. They can get a little caught up in it and kind of lose their swing a little bit. But I don’t have any concerns about Vogey. If he gets the opportunity to do it, he should definitely do it and enjoy it. Vogey enjoys most things he does.”
Indeed, Vogelbach likes life right now.
“He’s Vogey and he’s hitting bombs, so why wouldn’t you?,” Servais said.
Given that he has a body frame that’s dissimilar to many of his counterparts and more reminiscent of a beer-league, slow-pitch masher and a unique personality, Vogelbach would probably be a fan favorite.
“He’s a cartoon character,” Servais said. “That’s the term I’ve used. Vogey likes to talk to everybody too. I think of players back in my day. Sean Casey was that guy. He could hold a conversation with anybody. Vogey either talks to everybody or has played with everybody. For a young guy, he’s really comfortable.”
Vogelbach had four hits on Wednesday night, including two singles off the wall.
“Some of the comments that come out of his mouth,” Servais said, shaking his head and chuckling. “Vogey doesn’t lack for confidence. He let us know he ‘dented the wall’ on that first single. And he probably did. He was ticked because his launch angle was bad, and he has to get the ball up in the air. The next time he hits one out and he’s like, ‘I told you. I just had to get it up in the air.'”