The Home Run Derby is finally upon us baseball fans! Following up from last year, when Bryce Harper walked it off in front of his then home crowd, this year’s competition certainly has some big shoes to fill.
For the Home Run Derby, most fans just want to see baseball’s most powerful hitters slug it out. We saw a lot of that in the last two editions as power hitters like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Bryce Harper, and Kyle Schwarber all participated.
Baseball, however, keeps getting younger and younger. Now young sluggers have taken the game. This year those stars are being thrust onto the biggest stage. Here’s the bracket for this year’s Home Run Derby:
Headliners include Joc Pederson, Alex Bregman, Pete Alonso, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Matt Chapman vs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
This was originally supposed to be a matchup between this year’s home run leader, Christian Yelich, and the second coming of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, in his son Vladdy Jr. Unfortunately, Yelich had to withdraw to nurse a back injury. Matt Chapman, third baseman for the Athletics, will be replacing him. Chapman has certainly had a powerful year, as well as he has smacked 21 homers thus far. Vlad Jr., on the other hand, has only hit eight so far. Something tells me he’ll be just fine.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hitting moon shots practicing for the home run derby pic.twitter.com/vN7ju4nRmy— Baseball Lifestyle™ (@BsbLifestyle__) July 2, 2019
Alex Bregman vs Joc Pederson
Both of these competitors have some of the biggest personalities in the game, as seen when talking to the media or on the field with bat flips. They’re also going to be participating in their second Home Run Derby. Bregman had an early exit in last year’s contest, getting bested by Kyle Schwarber in the first round. Pederson is coming back with a vengeance after losing in the finals to Todd Frazier in 2015. Whoever loses this first round match will certainly be disappointed.
Ronald Acuna Jr. vs Josh Bell
This is a star-studded matchup between two of the leagues most exciting players. Acuna Jr. is coming off of a season in which he won Rookie of the Year with his smooth powerful swing. Bell, on the other hand, has burst onto the scene this season with 27 first-half homers while leading the MLB in RBI with 84 going into the All-Star break.
Pete Alonso vs Carlos Santana
Alonso is yet another young stud participating in this year’s derby, except he will be competing against the competition’s only veteran in Carlos Santana. As a rookie this year, Alonso is giving New York another Aaron Judge-like season. He is one of three players this year to already have hit 30 home runs. He is on a record-setting pace right now, and he’s aiming for Judge’s rookie home run record (52). Santana is having a fairly powerful age-33 season with 19 home runs so far and will be competing in front of his home crowd in Cleveland.
Who do you think will take this year’s Home Run Derby trophy home along with $1 million prize? Let us know in the comments below.
You can catch the event at 8:00 EST on ESPN or on the WatchESPN app.