MLB’s next generation of stars dominate the T-Mobile Home Run Derby field.
Mets Rookie Pete Alonso is one of the few things that have gone right for the squad during this disastrous season. The Mets are 40-50 entering the All-Star break and 13.5 games behind the Ronald Acuna-led Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
On Sunday, Alonso belted his 30th home run of the season, breaking Darryl Strawberry’s record for homers by a Mets rookie and joining Mark McGwire and Aaron Judge as the only rookies to jack 30 nukes by the All-Star break.
The Mets' first hit is a two-run bomb by Pete Alonso. His 30th.
Most home runs all-time by a rookie before the All-Star break:
1. Mark McGwire, 33 (1987)
2-t. Pete Alonso, 30 (2019)
2-t. Aaron Judge, 30 (2017)
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 7, 2019
Alonso also just set a new National League rookie record with 68 first-half RBI.
So fittingly, Alonzo will be one of the eight young T-Mobile Home Run Derby participants, vying for a cash prize of $1 million. The Derby also gives fans a glimpse into the future of the MLB as the average age of the field (25.43) is the youngest in the 34-year history of this event (last year’s had previously been the youngest).
The bracket-style Derby features Alonso, plus other up-and-coming stars of the sport. It’s always a fan favorite and the perfect prerequisite for the All-Star game on Tuesday night.
Matt Chapman: The Oakland A’s third baseman was a late replacement for 2018 AL MVP Christain Yelich.
Vlad Guerrero Jr.: Vlad is my pick to win the Derby. Son of Hall of Famer Vlad Guerrero Sr., Junior has been a mash monster early in his MLB career and he is known for hitting moon shots. The ease with which he launches 450-homers and the excitement he brings to the event makes him one of the favorites.
Alex Bregman: The Houston Astros slugger is looking to avenge a past Homer Derby loss. Bregman has solid power, but he’s not your prototypical home run hitter, It would be a huge upset for him to win.
Joc Pederson: The Dodgers have never had a Home Run Derby winner, despite ample participants. Pederson is no stranger to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. That could change this year. He competed as a rookie in 2015, making it all the way to the finals before losing to the hometown Reds’ Toddfather Frazier on a misty Cincinnati night.
Pederson and his first-round opponent Bregman are the only participants in this year’s Home Run Derby with prior experience in the event.
Carlos Santana: At 33-years old Sanatan is the oldest participant in what has become a young man’s event.
Josh Bell: Bell is the only Black Knight participating in the home run derby. Bell is looking to join Aaron Judge (2017), Giancarlo Stanton (2016) and Prince Fielder (2009, 2012) as African-American sluggers who have won the Derby in the past decade.
Ronald Acuna Jr.: The 2018 NL Rookie of the Year continues to rise to star status and winning the Derby would bring him even more national shine.
Yeah … he's ready for the #HomeRunDerby
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) July 6, 2019
If you aren’t up on this 20-year-old kid with the hitting talent of a young George Bell and Rickey Henderson swag then you’re in for a treat.