It’s time for the 2022 All-Star Home Run Derby! Some of the biggest names in the sport are in Hollywood and aiming for the stands at Dodger Stadium.
The derby’s headliner is back-to-back derby champion Pete Alonso. How do the rest of the participants compare to the home run king? Can someone take the belt from the Mets slugger known as “Polar Bear”?
This is your one-stop-shop for everything Home Run Derby, from turn-by-turn results to live updates of pre-derby predictions and catches from ESPN MLB experts Alden Gonzalez, Buster Olney, Jeff Passan and David Schoenfield.
Let the party begin!
Look: T-Mobile Home Run Derby on ESPN (8 p.m. ET)
MLB All-Star Home Run Derby Bracket
(1) Kyle Schwarber vs. (8) Albert Pujols
(4) Juan Soto vs. (5) Jose Ramirez
(6) Julio Rodriguez vs. (3) Corey Seager
(7) Ronald Acuna Jr. vs. (2) Pete Alonso
Julio Rodriguez (32 home runs) beats Corey Seager (24 home runs)
Pete Alonso (21 home runs) defeats Ronald Acuna Jr. (19 home runs)
The three-tower dream lives on
One thing about Alonso in the Home Run Derby: he never freaks out. Midway through his round he was struggling, struggling to find that perfect launch angle and instead hitting low liners that fell short of the warning trail. But he found his swing and edged out Acuna Jr. with just under 30 seconds remaining in his bonus round. It wasn’t a dominating round, but the dream of a hat-trick lives on.
Seattle praises J-Rod
With his win over Seager, Rodriguez is the first Mariner to advance to the Derby semi-finals since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998. Guess who’s there today: The Kid himself. Griffey’s advice: “Let Julio be Julio.”
Rodriguez walks out the door
Newbie nerves? Not for Julio Rodriguez. The 21-year-old phenom put on one of the most impressive runs in Home Run Derby history, finishing with 32 homers. He started by hitting a series of high-flying balls that scraped the fence, then moved on to screaming one-liners that cleared the fence, then started hitting a few that cleared the entire stadium.
Junior recognizes good content when he sees it. pic.twitter.com/qgGGrfFYEH
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 19, 2022
We’re a hitter, but the message has been sent: Julio is coming for your crown, Pete Alonso.
We are on our way!
The 2022 MLB All-Star Home Run Derby is underway with Mariners phenom Julio Rodriguez kicking it off in Los Angeles.
Who will win the Home Run Derby and who will they beat in the final?
González: Soto wasn’t happy to be thrown into trade rumors just before the all-star break, and it’s the perfect place for the game’s best clean hitter to channel his anger. Soto has been hot this month and will dethrone Pete Alonso in the final. He will also do this by hitting a bunch of opposing home runs.
Olney: Soto will face Alonso, and it will be like Ali-Frazier, with Soto barely edging out the defending champ.
Pass: Alonso, of course. He is the most prolific home run hitter on the planet. He knows how to win the derby, having done it the last two times. His toughest test may come in the first round against Acuna, but they’ve faced each other before, in 2019, and the Polar Bear came out on top. He will do it again this year, thwarting NL foe East Soto in the final.
Schoenfield: It’s the year of the Mariners! Rodriguez is on fire and he’s not lacking in confidence. He’s going to hit a bunch of low lasers in the center-left bleachers and, like Alonso in 2019, he’s going to earn it as a rookie – knocking out Alonso in the semis and Schwarber in the final.
Who will hit the longest home run of the night and how far?
González: Acuna is averaging 437 feet per homer this season, the longest in the majors. Since his rookie year in 2018, he’s hit 13 homers for 450 feet or more, second only to CJ Cron — though he missed plenty of time with a torn ACL. Three years ago, Acuna established itself in all fields, producing a beautiful spray painting, but he lost to Alonso in the second round. If he decides to be happy this year, he’ll clear Dodger Stadium a few times. We could even reach 510 feet.
Olney: Alonso will club a 512-foot homer, revitalizing the conversation on a juice ball.
Pass: Soto’s prodigious power is so free, so easy, it’s taken for granted. In an event like the Home Run Derby, the number of home runs matters more than the distance when it comes to winning the event, but not the hearts and minds. We want to see tanks. We want to see balls that never stop flying. We want to see Soto hit a ball 515 feet, and we will.
Schoenfield: There have only been five homers hit at Dodger Stadium in an action game – two from Willie Stargell and one from Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza and Giancarlo Stanton. The longest of these was that of Stargell at around 506 feet. We’re not just going to see a few out of the ballpark during the contest, we’re going to see a few over 506. And the longest: Schwarber is going to snap a 522-foot home run.
Albert Pujols is taking part in his last Home Run Derby tonight, what are your predictions for the 42-year-old?
González: I shocked everyone by beating Schwarber, the NL home run leader, in the first round. Never underestimate the pride and competitiveness of Pujols. He wasn’t, well, Albert Pujols, because his batting speed is no longer fast enough to match the cartoonish speeds of today’s game; it has nothing to do with its raw power. He knows this event, having participated in the first timed derby in 2015, and it will be Soto who will quickly eliminate him in the second round.
Olney: He will receive the second biggest ovation of the evening, and all the players will surround him to congratulate him after an impressive first round. But he won’t survive a really tough game against Schwarber.
Pass: He will perform better than expected, meaning his first round match against Schwarber will not end with Schwarber having more than a minute on the clock. Pujols is too competitive, too proud to allow that. But in the end, he’ll get the respect for pushing the top seed…just not the W he craves.
Schoenfield: One and it’s done. I mean, not a home run. He cracked a dozen in the first round, but Schwarber knocked him out.
What’s the moment we’ll all be talking about long after this HR derby is over?
González: The final round. Soto versus Alonso. Two division rivals get into it. The best pure hitter of this generation against one of the derby’s most illustrious competitors of all time, in a rematch of last year’s semi-finals at Coors Field. It was largely by chance that Soto and Alonso ended up on either side of this year’s draw, and it would ultimately produce one of the most electrifying rounds this event has ever produced.
Olney: Soto shuffles and drops his bat after putting up a huge number in the championship round.
Pass: An Alonso-Rodriguez match in the semis would be everything: king versus prodigy, right-handed thunder versus right-handed thunder, a potential crowning achievement versus a national coming-out party. While Rodriguez may draw the ire of the crowd for ousting Seager, a longtime Dodger, in the first round, he’ll win them back with a show in the next round… only to be thwarted by the champion not yet ready to surrender his crown.
Schoenfield: How about a passing of the torch? Rodriguez was 6 months old when Pujols made his first All-Star Game as a rookie in 2001. Now we have the game’s next big star in the spotlight. They won’t face each other unless they meet in the final, but I’m sure at some point we’ll have a Pujols-Rodriguez embrace – generation to generation.
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