On Monday night at 7:00pm CDT the All Star Game events fully begin with the Home Run Derby, the event that used to be slow and boring and now with some rule changes is fun and awesome. Participating this year are:
(1) Kyle Schwarber, Phillies — 29 home runs in 2022, 182 career
(2) Pete Alonso, Mets — 24 home runs in 2022, 130 career
(3) Corey Seager, Rangers — 22 home runs in 2022, 126 career
(4) Juan Soto, Nationals — 20 home runs in 2022, 118 career
(5) José Ramírez, Guardians — 19 home runs in 2022, 182 career
(6) Julio Rodríguez, Mariners — 16 home runs in 2022, 16 career
(7) Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves — 8 home runs in 2022, 113 career
(8) Albert Pujols, Cardinals — 6 home runs in 2022, 685 career
The first matchup puts Schwarber against the retiring veteran player, Albert Pujols. Pujols will certainly be a main story of the evening. His 6 home runs this season look pretty paltry up against the numbers the other contestants have amassed, but at a career 685 homers, averaging 30 home runs a season over that time, it is hard to argue he shouldn’t get one last crack at the crown. This will be Pujols’s fifth Derby and his first since 2015. Will the oldest Home Run Derby contestant become the older winner and take home the title for the first time in his career?
The other major storyline will be Pete Alonso, who goes up against Acuña in his first matchup. Alonso holds multiple records in the Derby like most Derby homers and most homers in the a first round and a final round. He will be going for his third-straight Home Run Derby title, which would be a historic feat.
Seager, in his second Derby and Rodríguez, a rookie and participating in his first Derby, are the 3-6 seed matchup. Juan Soto and José Ramírez will face off as the 4th and 5th seeds in their second and first Derby appearances, respectively. The Derby will be broadcast on ESPN.