You might be wondering why I’ve gathered you all here on a seemingly random Monday evening with no Yankees baseball. With the Futures Game and the Celebrity Softball Game in our rearview mirrors and the first two days of the draft over, we finally get to set our sights on arguably the most entertaining event of the All-Star break: the Home Run Derby.
The Derby itself garners enough excitement every year, but after the All-Star festivities were relocated to the higher elevation in Colorado, fans have been eagerly anticipating this year’s Derby even more. On top of that, MLB announced that they will not be using the humidor for the balls tonight. For those that don’t know, MLB famously keeps the baseballs that are used in Rockies’ home games in a humidor in order to boost the humidity around the baseballs so that it’s more challenging to hit them out of the park.
If that wasn’t enough to get fans excited, Shohei Ohtani of “I hit baseballs hard and far but I also throw them hard and fast” fame will not only be a participant, but he’s the No. 1 seed in tonight’s tournament. In case you have your doubts about Ohtani, I refer you to the expert opinion of Jameson Taillon:
From my own experience, I think he will hit lots #analysis— Jameson Taillon (@JTaillon50) July 12, 2021
In addition to Ohtani, there are quite a few other “big boppers” participating tonight too, namely Joey Gallo and Pete Alonso, who is the defending champ after winning the 2019 crown in Cleveland as a rookie. Also participating and representing the host team will be Trevor “will-he-still-be-a-Rockie-in-August?” Story.
Here’s a breakdown of the remaining participants, seeding, and the bracket itself:
MLB has set the bracket for Monday’s Home Run Derby: pic.twitter.com/7eoaHINmLs— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 8, 2021
As a quick refresher, the Derby is now set up as a single-elimination bracket. The main things to know about the rules are:
- Participants are seeded and paired off based on their current home run totals and ties are broken by comparing the previous year’s totals.
- During the first two rounds, batters get three minutes to hit as many home runs as they can. The two finalists will receive two minutes each in the final round.
- Each batter can call one 45-second time-out in “regulation” of each round. Each batter will get a 30-second “bonus” round, which they can make a 60-second bonus round by hitting one ball at least 475 feet or farther to gain an extra 30 seconds. No time-outs can be called during the bonus round.
- Ties in any round of the derby are broken by a 60-second swing-off, with no time stoppage or extra time added. If it’s still tied after that, the batters will enter successive three-swing swing-offs until a winner is decided.
Action should start shortly after 8pm ET on ESPN. Feel free to use this as your open thread for tonight. While we won’t get to root for any Yankees, tonight’s affair still lines up to be fun and exciting. Who do you think will win?