It’s time for the 2022 All-Star Home Run Derby! Some of the biggest names in the sport are in Hollywood, aiming for the stands of Dodger Stadium.
The headliner of the derby will be two-time derby champion Pete Alonso. How do the other members compare to the home run king? Can anyone take the belt from a Mets batsman known as “Polar Bear”?
From round-by-round results to live updates and pre-derby predictions, plus ESPN MLB experts Alden Gonzalez, Buster Olney, Jeff Passan and David Schonfield, this is your one-stop-shop for everything about the Home Run Derby.
Let the fun begin!
Watch: T-Mobile Home Run Derby on ESPN (8:00 pm ET)
Home Run All-Star MLB Derby Bracket
(1) Kyle Schwarber vs. (8) Albert Pujols
(4) Juan Soto vs. (5) Jose Ramirez
(6) Julio Rodriguez vs. (3) Corey Seeger
(7) Ronald Acuna Jr vs. (2) Pete Alonso
Julio Rodriguez (32 home runs) defeats Corey Seeger (24 home runs)
Pete Alonso (21 home runs) defeats Ronald Acoon Jr. (19 home runs)
The dream of three moors lives on
One thing about Alonso in the Home Run Derby: he never panics. He had trouble mid-round, struggling to find the perfect launch angle and instead hitting low liners that didn’t hit the warning trajectory. But he found his move and overtook Hakun Jr. with just under 30 seconds left in the bonus round. It wasn’t a dominant round, but the dream of a threesome lives on.
Seattle Praises J-Rod
After defeating Seeger, Rodriguez became the first sailor to reach 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 hot out the gate
Newbie nerves? Not for Julio Rodriguez. The 21-year-old phenom had one of the most impressive rounds in Home Run Derby history, finishing with 32 home runs. He started with a string of high balls that went over the fence, then moved on to some low screaming liners that went over the fence, and then started hitting some balls that went all over the damn stadium.
Junior recognizes good content when he sees it. pic.twitter.com/qgGGrfFYEH
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 19, 2022
We have one hitter, but the message has been sent: Julio is coming for your crown, Pete Alonso.
We’re on our way!
The home run derby of the 2022 MLB All-Star Game kicked off in Los Angeles.
Predictions for the derby
Who will win the Home Run Derby and who will he beat in the final?
Gonzalez: Soto wasn’t happy about the trade rumors right before the All-Star break, and it’s the perfect place for the game’s best clean hitter to vent his anger. Soto was very hot this month and toppled Pete Alonso in the final. He will do this by smashing a bunch of homers on the opposite field.
Olney: Soto will fight Alonso and it will be like Ali Frazier when Soto narrowly beats the defending champion.
Passan: Alonso, of course. He’s the highest hitting home run on the planet. He knows how to win a derby considering he has done it the last two times. His toughest test may come in the first round against Akuna, but they’ve faced each other before in 2019 and Polar Bear came out victorious. He’ll do it again this year, taking down NL East rival Soto in the final.
Shenfield: It’s the year of the sailors! Rodriguez was on a roll and lacked confidence. He’s going to hit the center-left podium with multiple low lasers and, like Alonso in 2019, he’ll win it as a rookie – knocking out Alonso in the semi-finals and Schwarber in the final.
Who will hit the longest home run of the night and by how far?
Gonzalez: This season, Akuna is averaging 437 feet per home run, the longest of any major. Since his rookie year in 2018, he hit 13 home runs in 450 feet or more, trailing only CJ Cron, though he missed significant time with an ACL tear. Three years ago, Acuna mastered all the fields, producing beautiful spray pattern, but lost to Alonso in the second round. If he decides to have fun this year, he will clean up the Dodger Stadium several times. You can even reach 510 feet.
Olney: Alonso will hit a 512-foot homer, rekindling talk of a juicy ball.
Passan: Soto’s incredible power is so free, so light, that it’s taken for granted. In an event like the Home Run Derby, home run count matters more than distance when it comes to winning the event, but not hearts and minds. We want to see tanks. We want to see balls that never stop flying. We want to see Soto hit the ball at 515 feet and we will.
Shenfield: There were only five home runs from Dodger Stadium during the game – two from Willie Stargell and one each from Mark McGuire, Mike Piazza and Giancarlo Stanton. The longest of these was at Stargell, approximately 506 feet. Not only will we see a few people fly out of the stadium during the competition, we will see a pair longer than 506. And the longest: Schwarber is about to hit a 522-foot home run.
Tonight Albert Pujols will take part in his last home run derby. What are your predictions for the 42 year old player?
Gonzalez: I have him shock everyone by beating Schwarber, the NL home run leader, in the first round. Never underestimate the pride and competitiveness of Pujols. He wasn’t, shall we say, Albert Pujols because his bat speed is no longer fast enough to accommodate the cartoonish speeds of today’s game; it has nothing to do with his brute strength. He knows the event as he competed in the first time trial derby in 2015 and it will be Soto who will quickly eliminate him in the second round.
Olney: He will receive the second biggest standing 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 match against Schwarber.
Passan: He will have a better record than expected, meaning his first round match against Schwarber will not end with Schwarber having more than a minute left on the clock. Pujols is too competitive, too proud to admit it. But in the end, he gets respect for pushing through the first seed… but not the W he desires.
Shenfield: One and done. I mean, not a single home run. He hits a dozen in the first round, but Schwarber knocks him out.
What’s the one moment we’ll all be talking about long after this HR derby is over?
Gonzalez: Final round. Soto vs Alonso. Two rivals in the division go for it. The best clean striker of this generation against one of the greatest derby fighters in history, in a rematch of last year’s semi-final against Coors Field. That Soto and Alonso ended up on opposite sides of this year’s bracket was largely a fluke and will eventually lead to one of the most electrifying rounds this tournament has ever produced.
Olney: Soto shuffles and drops the bat after posting a huge number in the championship round.
Passan: The Alonso-Rodriguez matchup in the semi-finals will be everything: king vs. prodigy, right-handed thunder vs. right-handed thunder, eventual coronation vs. nationwide party. While Rodriguez may draw the ire of the crowd for ousting Seager, longtime Dodger, in the first round, he will play their show in the next round…only to be thwarted by a champion not yet ready to concede. his crown.
Shenfield: How about passing the torch? Rodriguez was 6 months old when Pujols made his first All-Star Game as a rookie in 2001. We now 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 get the hugs of Pujols and Rodriguez – from generation to generation.
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