Tonight on ESPN, the 2019 Home Run Derby will begin at 8PM. This year they are still using the bracket format with 8 players. But, the winner gets $1 million. This is different from just the cool trophy previous winners have received.
Another difference between this year’s derby and the previous ones is that the field is much younger. The average age is 25.26 years old.
Matt Chapman of the A’s recently took the spot of Christian Yelich. Yelich will miss the event because of a back injury. The Brewers’ outfielder also leads MLB with 31 home runs.
Ronald Acuna Jr., Pete Alonso, Josh Bell, Alex Bregman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Joc Pederson and Carlos Santana round out this year’s Home Run Derby Field.
#1 Matt Chapman (21 HR) vs. #8 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (8 HR)
#4 Alex Bregman (23 HR) vs. #5 Joc Pederson (20 HR)
#2 Pete Alonso (30 HR) vs. #7 Carlos Santana (19 HR)
#3 Josh Bell (27) vs. #6 Ronald Acuna Jr. (21 HR)
Chapman and Guerrero are both hard hitters, with some hefty exit velocities when they connect. Guerrero is impossible to question and this is batting practice. Guerrero, who just turned 20 in March, is the youngest Home Run Derby participant ever. Chapman uses all fields when he goes deep more than anyone in the derby.
Bregman did participate in last year’s Derby, exiting in the first round. His familiarity with the event is pretty useful. Pederson was last in the Derby in 2015 and made the final, losing to Todd Frazier. But now, he is not thought of as a Homer Run Derby guy because he’s mainly a platoon player now.
Alonso, with 30, has the most homers in the Derby since Yelich is unable to compete. Santana is the obligatory hometown guy and, at 33, is the oldest one in the field. Fans will be pulling for him simply because of what jersey he wears.
Bell has hit seven homers over 440 feet this year and five farther than 450 feet. Acuña is third in all of baseball in average home run distance. Both have easy power. If you are looking for a power matchup, this one will catch your eye.
Josh Bell: 7/2
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: 9/2
Pete Alonso: 5/1
Joc Pederson: 5/1
Carlos Santana: 7/1
Alex Bregman: 8/1
Matt Chapman: 8/1
Ronald Acuna Jr.: 10/1