Who’s ready for some MLB All-Star Home Run Derby excitement? The most anticipated event of the summer is heading to Hollywood with some of the biggest names in the sport set to take aim at the Dodger Stadium bleachers on Monday, July 18 (8 pm ET on ESPN)
With the first participant in this summer’s eight-player field unveiled Monday, one thing is clear: Everyone will be trying to keep up with back-to-back derby champion Pete Alonso.
As the remaining contestants are announced heading into Thursday’s Home Run Derby bracket selection show (7 p.m. ET on ESPN), we’ll break down each player chosen — and his case for taking the belt from the Mets slugger known as The Polar Bear.
Play: ESPN’s Derby Pick’em
2022 HR total: 23 | Longest: 447 feet
Why he’s the home run king: Alonso has participated in two All-Star Home Run Derbies during his MLB career and twice ended the night as champion — and twice won a $1 million prize for his efforts.
In 2019, Alonso took down Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in an epic derby battle by blasting a total of 57 long balls in Cleveland. When the event returned in 2021, Alonso outslugged the field at Coors Field in Denver, topping Trey Mancini in the final round and hitting 74 total home runs — including 20 that traveled at least 475 feet.
After his 2021 win, Alonso said: “I think I’m the best power hitter on the planet. Being able to showcase that and really put on a fun display for fans, it’s truly a dream come true for me. When I was younger , my parents actually let me stay up past my bedtime to watch this.”
Clearly all those nights staying up watching paid off for the Mets slugger.
Derby fun fact: Alonso joined Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Céspedes (2013-14) as the only back-to-back champions in derby history.