FOX Sports MLB Analyst
SEATTLE — Major League Baseball All-Star Week is in full swing, and there may not be a more exciting event than the Home Run Derby.
Some of the game’s biggest stars and top power hitters will be coming to T-Mobile Park with one goal: to hit the most home runs.
The eight-player field has a good mix of everything baseball fans want to see. One of the hardest hitters in the game is in the tournament in Luis Robert. Two-time champion Pete Alonso is looking to join Ken Griffey Jr. as the second player to win three contests. Mookie Betts will participate in his first Home Run Derby, and Julio Rodríguez will look to thrill his home crowd after putting on an absolute show in last year’s contest.
Here are my round-by-round picks for Monday’s big event (with current home run totals in parentheses).
No. 1 louis roberto (26) vs. No. 8 adley rutschmann (12)
I’m going to take Robert here. I love Rutschman, but I don’t know if he’s going to be an imposing player in the Home Run Derby. I just do not know. I may be wrong, and I’ve never seen him practice hitting.
But I think Robert has a freaky pop. I think he’s perfectly prepared for a Home Run Derby, and he’ll do very well here.
First Round Winner: Robert
No. 4 adolis garcia (23) in front of no. 5 Randy Arozarena (sixteen)
Just give me Garcia here. The Rangers slugger must make the best of the good heavens star in this event.
Will Julio Rodriguez of the Mariners win the MLB Home Run Derby for his home crowd?
First round winner: Garcia
No. 2 Peter Alonso (26) against number 7 july rodriguez (13)
This is the matchup that excites me the most. This showdown is like romantic music to my ears.
In my opinion, this could have been the championship. Sadly, we’re getting it in the first round. Alonso is arguably the greatest Home Derby entrant in the event’s history. Rodriguez is the hometown boy and a superstar here in Seattle. The fans will be waiting for him to win. Normally, that’s a premise I don’t agree with. The Home Run Derby is the exception.
This event is exhausting because of the way it is organized. If you have a full crowd supporting you and chanting your name, that matters. I’m going to go with Rodriguez here because I also liked what I saw last year when he was in the Derby at Dodger Stadium. Actually, no one hit more home runs than him last year and he impressed everyone.
I just can’t choose against him here.
First round winner: Rodríguez
Number 3 mookie bets (26) against number 6 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (13)
This is an exciting matchup because when I think of Betts, I don’t necessarily think of him as a home run Derby type. Heck, I don’t really see Betts as a home run hitter. I see him as a complete guy who can hit .300.
Now, Betts’ power numbers have actually been extremely impressive since he joined the Dodgers in 2020. It seems like he’s becoming more of a power hitter. Still, I really only see him as a complete player who can play great defense in the outfield who hits .300 and also has some power.
To me, I look at the Home Run Derby guys as hitters who have a .250 batting average and can hit 50 home runs in a year. That’s not Betts.
However, Guerrero checks those boxes. He has experience in the Home Run Derby, and actually battled for the Triple Crown a couple of years ago, when he hit 48 home runs.
I’m going to take Guerrero here because experience really helps in a Derby.
First round winner: Guerrero
No. 1 Robert (26) vs. No. 4 Garcia (23)
As I wrote above, the guys I like best for the Home Run Derby are the hitters who simply have the most raw power. Robert certainly has something, but I think Garcia has a little more. I think he has a monster pop that people don’t understand. We’ve seen it so far in the regular season. I think he’s putting on a show Monday night.
Semifinals Winner: Garcia
No. 6 Guerrero (13) vs. No. 7 Rodriguez (13)
This is happening in the house that Julio built. OK, jokes aside, Rodríguez already captivated sailors fans (and really all baseball fans) and I hope he rides that wave to the championship.
Semifinals winner: Rodríguez
No. 4 Garcia (23) vs. No. 7 Rodriguez (13)
I feel like I can’t stress enough the home crowd advantage in this tournament. The event gets exhausting with each passing hit, and you need whatever little boost you can along the way in hopes of winning this.
Rodriguez is going to have that behind him all night. And it’s not like he can’t hit home runs, either. He hit 81 home runs in last year’s contest and lost the title to Juan Soto by just one. He probably learned from it.
On top of all that, this is Rodriguez’s moment. He hasn’t had the year that everyone thought he would. He has had a good year, but not a great one. This is his time, and Monday will be his night.
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