Who’s ready to watch some dingers? They will not be in short supply on Monday night when the annual Home Run Derby kicks off as part of the All-Star Game festivities at 8pm Eastern on ESPN.
Sadly, there are no Orioles competing in the Derby this year. That may actually be a comfort to those people who remain concerned no matter what evidence to the contrary is presented that the Derby has a negative impact on a player’s swing.
MLB will be continuing to utilize the head-to-head format that it stumbled into by accident a couple of years ago. Here are the eight players in the contest, with their seedings:
- Giancarlo Stanton
- Aaron Judge
- Cody Bellinger
- Mike Moustakas
- Miguel Sano
- Charlie Blackmon
- Justin Bour
- Gary Sanchez
Stanton gets the top seed by virtue of being the defending champion from last year. It doesn’t hurt that he’ll be defending the title in his home ballpark. Fellow Marlin Justin Bour is also in the field.
The other seedings are determined according to regular season home run totals as of Wednesday, with ties being broken by number of home runs hit from June 15 to Wednesday. Sanchez has 13 home runs this season. I don’t know why he’s in the competition. Everybody else has hit at least 20 so far this season.
The first round matchups will go as you’d expect, 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, 4 vs. 5. The higher seed hits second in each matchup. Each player will have four minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. A player can get 30 seconds of bonus time for hitting two home runs that measure at 440+ feet according to Statcast.