The Home Run Derby occurred last night at Marlins Park in Miami. Major League Baseball stayed with the tournament style format that they experimented with last year. Eight of the top home run hitters in the game squared off against one another in a three round contest, where winners would advance to the next round. The hitters were seeded one through eight, and each batter had four minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. If they hit at least two home runs over 440 feet, they would receive a bonus of thirty seconds to their time. Rookie of the Year and MVP candidate Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees came away victorious beating the Twins Miguel Sano in this year’s derby.
Judge hit 47 home runs between the three rounds, including a huge first round of 23 home runs. He could have easily hit more out of the ballpark had he hit first in each round, but instead was cut off once he defeated the other participant. Judge hit three baseballs over 500 feet, including his farthest shot of 513 feet. He also had the fastest exit velocity recorded at 119 mph. His average home run distance was an outstanding 457 feet. He was a man among boys out there. Judge was spraying it to right field as a right-handed hitter after not getting all of the ball and still hitting it 420 feet with ease. After the competition, Judge said he was definitely interested in potentially defending his crown in next year’s Home Run Derby hosted at Nationals Park.
Round by Round Breakdown
Miguel Sano edged out Mike Moustakas 11-10. Moustakas ran out of gas and couldn’t manage another home run in the final minute.
Gary Sanchez defeated reigning champion Giancarlo Stanton 17-16. Stanton hit multiple home runs over 490 feet.
Cody Bellinger managed to sneak by Charlie Blackmon 15-14, thanks to the extra thirty seconds he earned at the end of his round.
Aaron Judge defeated home crowd favorite Justin Bour 23-22 in the most entertaining match-up of the night. Judge’s 23 home runs was the third highest total for a round in Home Run Derby history.
Sano defeated Sanchez 11-10. Sano swung at a good pace and essentially outlasted Sanchez.
Judge defeated Bellinger 11-10 with ease. Judge was cut-off from swinging with about two minutes left in his round.
Judge defeated Sano 11-10 and once again was cut-off with about two minutes left in his round. Judge once again put on an impressive performance and his power really wasn’t matched all night.
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