You remember how the Home Run Derby used to be? There were multiple rounds where every player had a set number of outs to jack as many dongs as possible. It was boring. No one really liked it.
Around 2014 MLB changed up the rules. Instead of rounds, there were head-to-head matchups. It was a successful change. It sped up the derby and added another competitive element to the affair. The following year baseball made another change: instead of hitters have a certain number of outs to work with, he would now have a time limit. While a clock does not really feel like “baseball” exactly, it does eliminate all the boring parts of the derby and increase all the fun parts. Hitters just swing away at almost everything. The whole event is now intense and well-paced and just enjoyable. I think former VEB site manager Dan Moore summed it up best when discussing the derby Monday evening: ”The derby went from being an unwatchable thing I wish I enjoyed to something I just left work early for.”
Yasmani Grandal made sure to get his son a baseball from the #HRDerby ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UKOxV9zwOZ— ESPN (@espn) July 9, 2019
This year’s derby was great once again. The first round had Matt Chapman square off against Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Vlad advanced with Derby Record 29 home runs to Chapman’s 13.
29 homers in the first round for Vlad Guerrero Jr.— ESPN (@espn) July 9, 2019
That's a #HRDerby record for a single round pic.twitter.com/hyN1jLp1Ub
Joc Pederson made it past Alex Bregman 21 homers to 16. Pete Alonzo just beat Carlos Santana 14 homers to 13. Ronald Acuna Jr. hit 25 home runs in the first round to get past Josh Bell.
"Let's go Joc!"— ESPN (@espn) July 9, 2019
Clayton Kershaw's daughter Cali is Team Joc Pederson in the #HRDerby pic.twitter.com/VPQBo4rI9F
In the semi-finals Guerrero Jr. and Pederson faced off in an epic battle. After 79 homers — with bonus time, a tie-breaker, and not one, but two swingoffs, Guerrero made it past Pederson 40 homers to 39.
WHAT. A. ROUND.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 9, 2019
79 homers between Joc Pederson and Vlad Jr. #HRDerby pic.twitter.com/bjRYqLFKia
Alonso defeated Acuña Jr. 20 home runs to 19.
BEST DERBY OF ALL TIME! Don’t @ me!— Enrique Hernández (@kikehndez) July 9, 2019
The finals put the two rookies against each other. Guerrero went first, belting 22 home runs.
Alonso needed 23 to walk off the Home Run Derby.
PETE ALONSO HAS DONE IT!— ESPN (@espn) July 9, 2019
He hit 57 home runs to win the 2019 #HRDerby pic.twitter.com/kXjWKNmZsO
I think it is important to note here that Alonso as the higher seed was always hitting second. A lot has been said about how he won without hitting the most home runs over all the rounds. That is true, but not exactly fair since his round would end after he passed his opponent. The final numbers are a bit deceiving. Vlad Jr. did steal the show, though!
9️⃣1️⃣ homers‼️— MLB (@MLB) July 9, 2019
What a show by Vlad. pic.twitter.com/J4Qt7Z8RWc
Overall, everything rocked. The Home Run Derby is awesome now.
Staggering stats from this year's Home Run Derby | MLB.com
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