It’s time for the 2022 All-Star Home Run Derby! Some of the biggest names in the sport are in Hollywood, taking aim at the Dodger Stadium bleachers.
Headlining the derby is back-to-back derby champion Pete Alonso. How do the rest of the participants stack up to the home run king? Can anyone take the belt from the Mets slugger known as “Polar Bear”?
This is your one-stop shop for all things Home Run Derby, from round-by-round results to live updates to pre-derby predictions and takes from ESPN MLB experts Alden Gonzalez, Buster Olney, Jeff Passan and David Schoenfield.
Let the fun begin!
Watch: 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) defeats Corey Seager (24 home runs)
Ronald Acuna Jr. (19 home runs) vs. Pete Alonso
Seattle great praises J-Rod
With his victory over Seager, Rodriguez is the first Mariner to advance to the semifinals of the Derby since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998. Guess who’s on site today: The Kid himself. Griffey’s advice: “Let Julio be Julio.”
Rodriguez hot out of the gate
Rookie nerves? Not for Julio Rodriguez. The 21-year-old phenom put together one of the most impressive rounds in Home Run Derby history, finishing with 32 home runs. He started out hitting a series of high fly balls that scraped over the fence, transitioned into some low screaming liners that cleared the fence, then starting bashing a few that cleared the whole dang stadium.
Junior knows good content when he sees it. pic.twitter.com/qgGGrfFYEH
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 19, 2022
We’re one batter in, but the message has been sent: Julio is coming for your crown, Pete Alonso.
The 2022 MLB All-Star Home Run Derby is underway with Mariners phenom Julio Rodriguez getting it started in Los Angeles.
Who is going to win the Home Run Derby and whom will he beat in the final?
Gonzalez: Soto was not happy to be thrown into trade rumors right before the All-Star break, and this is the perfect place for the game’s best pure hitter to channel his anger. Soto has been scorching hot this month and will dethrone Pete Alonso in the finals. He’ll do so by whacking a bunch of opposite-field homers, too.
Olney: Soto will go head-to-head with Alonso, and it’ll be like Ali-Frazier, with Soto barely edging the defending champion.
Passan: Alonso, of course. He’s the most prolific home run hitter on the planet. He knows how to win the derby, seeing as he’s done so the past two times. His most difficult test might come in the first round against Acuna, but they’ve faced one another before, in 2019, and the Polar Bear came out on top. He’ll do so again this year, thwarting NL East foe Soto in the finals.
Schoenfield: It’s the year of the Mariners! Rodriguez has been on fire, and he’s not lacking in confidence. He’s going to hit a bunch of low lasers into the left-center bleachers and, like Alonso in 2019, he’s going to win it as a rookie — knocking out Alonso in the semifinals and Schwarber in the final.
Who will hit the longest home run of the night and how far?
Gonzalez: Acuna is averaging 437 feet per home run this season, the longest in the majors. Dating back to his rookie year in 2018, he has hit 13 home runs 450 feet or longer, second to only C.J. Cron — even though he missed significant time with a torn ACL. Three years ago, Acuna homered to all fields, producing a beautiful spray chart, but he lost to Alonso in the second round. If he decides to get pull happy this year, he’ll clear Dodger Stadium a few times. One might even reach 510 feet.
Olney: Alonso will club a 512-foot homer, revitalizing conversation about a juiced ball.
Passan: The prodigious power of Soto is so free, so easy, one takes it 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 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 been only five home runs hit out of Dodger Stadium during an action game — two by Willie Stargell and one each from Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza and Giancarlo Stanton. The longest of those was one of Stargell’s at an estimated 506 feet. We’re not only going to see a few fly out of the ballpark during the contest, we’re going to see a couple longer than 506. And the longest: Schwarber is going to crack a 522-foot home run.
Albert Pujols is participating in his final Home Run Derby tonight, what are your predictions for the 42-year-old?
Gonzalez: I have him shocking everybody by defeating Schwarber, the NL’s home run leader, in the first round. Don’t ever underestimate Pujols’ pride and competitiveness. He hasn’t been, well, Albert Pujols, because his bat speed is no longer quick enough to adjust to the cartoonish velocities of today’s game; it has nothing to do with his raw power. He knows this event, having competed in the first timed derby in 2015, and it’ll be Soto who swiftly eliminates him in Round 2.
Olney: He’ll get the second-biggest ovation of the night, and all the players will surround him to congratulate him after an impressive first round. But he won’t survive a really tough matchup against Schwarber.
Passan: He will have a better showing than expected, which is to say his first-round matchup against Schwarber will not end with Schwarber having a minute-plus left on the clock. Pujols is too competitive, too prideful, to allow that. But in the end, he will get respect for having pushed the top seed … but not the W he desires.
Schoenfield: One and done. I mean, not one home run. He’ll crack a dozen in the first round, but Schwarber will knock him out.
What’s the one moment we’ll all be talking about long after this HR derby ends?
Gonzalez: The final round. Soto versus Alonso. Two division rivals going at it. The best pure hitter of this generation against one of the most illustrious derby competitors ever, in a rematch of last year’s semifinals from Coors Field. It was largely happenstance that Soto and Alonso wound up on opposite sides of this year’s bracket, and it will ultimately produce one of the most electrifying rounds this event has ever produced.
Olney: Soto shuffling and dropping his bat after he puts up a huge number in the championship round.
Passan: An Alonso-Rodriguez matchup in the semifinals would be everything: king vs. prodigy, right-handed thunder vs. right-handed thunder, a could-be coronation vs. 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 champ not yet ready to cede 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 on center stage. They won’t face each other unless they meet in the final, but I’m sure at some point we’ll get a Pujols-Rodriguez embrace — one generation to the next.
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