Who is ready for some MLB All-Star Run Home Run Derby excited? The most anticipated event of the summer is heading to Hollywood, with some of the biggest names in the sport set to hit the Dodger Stadium stands on July 18 (8pm ET on ESPN)
With the first participant in this summer’s eight-man pitch announced Monday, one thing is clear: Everyone will be trying to keep up with the head-to-head derby champions. Pete Alonso.
When the remaining contestants are announced to participate in the selection program for the final round of the Mountain Bike Race on Thursday (7 p.m. ET on ESPN), we’ll break down each selected player – and his case for taking the belt from the Mets slugger is called “Polar Bear”.
Play: ESPN’s Derby Pick’em
Total number of employees in 2022: 23 | Longest: 447 sets
Why he is the king of running the house: Alonso entered two All-Star Home Runs during his MLB career and finished the night twice as champion – and twice won the $1 million prize pool for his efforts.
In 2019, Alonso knocked Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in an epic derby by blowing a total of 57 long balls in Cleveland. When the event returns in 2021, Alonso outperforms the field at Coors Field in Denver, topping Trey Mancini in the final lap and hit a total of 74 home runs – of which 20 went at least 475 feet.
After the 2021 win, Alonso said: “I think I’m the most powerful player on the planet. To be able to show that and really deliver an exciting performance for the fans, that’s really what it is. a dream come true for me. When I was young, my parents actually let me stay up past bedtime to watch this.”
Obviously, all those sleepless nights paid off for the Mets slugger.
2022 home runs: 8 | Longest: 464 sets
Why he was able to knock Alonso down: There may not be another player in this year’s tournament as delicate as Acuna – and that could go a long way in front of an all-star crowd in Los Angeles. While Acuna is known for all-round skill and Alonso more for his ability to slide alone, the total number of home runs in their careers shows the difference in strength between the two National League East stars. not as big as you think:
Acuna – 113 beats, 448 games
Alonso – 129 beats, 455 games
Why can’t he: After returning earlier this season from an ACL injury acquired last July, Acuna’s power stroke was the final part of his game back. So far in 2022, he has netted the hosts eight goals in 53 games, after blasting 24 long balls in 82 games before his season ended last summer.
Interesting facts about Derby: Acuna appeared in the 2019 Derby Home Run, eliminating Josh Bell in the first round before falling, you guessed it, Pete Alonso in the semi-finals. Acuna hit 19 points at home in the round, before Alonso reached 20 to progress to the final.
2022 home runs: 5 | Longest: 426 sets
Why he was able to knock Alonso down: Well, this guy knows a thing or two about hitting home runs, as he hit 684 of them in the regular season of his career – not to mention 19 more in the post-season. prize. Sure, it’s been a while since Pujols’ peak, but he still has the power to deal damage in this competition, and his late career swings tend to balloon anyway. more than. He’s going to be a sentimental lover, and maybe the crowd will pull him in for a few extra runs home.
Why can’t he: Did we mention it’s been a while since Pujols were at their peak? If he remains at home five runs next week, he will have the fewest home runs for a player entering the competition. (Ivan Rodriguez among the tigers were six when he joined at his home ground in 2005.) Pujols will be the oldest player ever to join; The previous oldest person was 39 years old Barry Bonds in 2004. And it’s hard to imagine Pujols having the fitness to win three rounds. Heck, we saw young the boys get tired after an inning or two – and the Pujols are 42!
Interesting facts about Derby: Pujols will be the seventh player to make at least five appearances at the Derby Home Run, alongside Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire, Prince FielderBonds, Sammy Sosa and David Ortiz.
2022 home runs: 17 | Longest: 451 sets
Why he was able to knock Alonso down: Because he clearly wants to. Lots of young players had success in the Derby Home Run, but Soto returned for the second year in a row. You may remember that he overthrew Shohei Ohtani 31-28 a year ago in an epic overtime game before losing 16-15 to Alonso in the semi-finals. He wants his revenge.
Why can’t he: The 16-15 loss to Alonso didn’t really come close. Soto goes first and gets tired after his big round. Alonso actually had about a minute left on the clock when he beat Soto, so he would have destroyed him if he used all of his time. Alonso proved he can cover all three laps; Soto doesn’t.
Interesting facts about Derby: Soto’s 520-foot home track in last year’s Derby was the longest in the competition in the Statcast era.
2022 home runs: 28 | Longest: 468 sets
Why he was able to knock Alonso down: Schwarber has a long experience of playing Derby at home, finishing as a runner-up Bryce Harper in 2018. Harper was clearly a fan favorite of the Washington, D.C. crowd, but Schwarber — a member of the Cubs at the time — rolled, exploding as he drove into the right seat, striking image with colleagues. his consistency in the event, in the way he stabilizes the rhythm with his swing. That could be important for Alonso.
Earlier this summer, a veteran slugger mused about this summer’s Home Run, about Alonso’s dominance, and suggested that it would take someone with prior experience in the event to take the house down. two-time defending champion. “It was a grueling event,” slugger said. “You’re exhausted. And no one who deals with that the first time is going to beat him.”
Why can’t he: Just a few days ago, Schwarber appeared to have no intention of participating this year, calling the event “a bucket list thing” he had overlooked and noting concerns about the effects on the body. mine. If Schwarber retreats from his approach for fear of injury – especially with his current teammates Harper and Jean Segura was on the IL for the Phillies – Alonso would be a tough place. But if Schwarber has a chance to rise, he could present a special challenge to Alonso.
Interesting facts about Derby: Despite the defeat to Harper in the final at Nationals Park, Schwarber’s total of 55 home runs is the most of any of the 2018 Derby participants.
2022 home runs: 15 | Longest: 450 sets
Why he was able to knock Alonso down: In a rookie season when he’s already racked up so many accomplishments, what doubt do we have that J-Rod will add another incredible feat to the roster? He became the fastest player with 15 home runs and 20 career steals in MLB history and, along with Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr, became the only Mariners player to be named an All-Stars. before turning 22. Plus, Rodriguez could come off the field for strength: He had 15 long tackles in his first 82 big games after going 28 deep in 162 minor league games in his career. Karma.
Why can’t he: Well, it’s really hard to know how any player will cope with the pressure of a home derby until we actually see them do so – especially as a 21-year-old will play. at the biggest stage of his career. If this were a five-instrument player contest, Rodriguez would clearly rank near the top of the field, but pure power and the ability to hold it through multiple rounds may not have registered to Pete Alonso’s level…
Interesting facts about Derby: At 21 years and 196 days, Rodriguez is just over half the age of the oldest player participating in this year’s derby, Albert Pujols (42 years, 178 days).