DENVER – New York Mets bat Pete Alonso became the third home run derby champion in a row and was eliminated Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini in the finals on Monday evening in front of an electrically sold out crowd at Coors Field.
Mancini, who underwent chemotherapy in the 2020 season after being diagnosed with colon cancer, had the second highest chance of winning the event. But he hit Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson and Colorado Rockies Shortstop Trevor story advance to the finals, where he scored a total of 22 home runs.
Alonso followed Mancini in the final and scored four home runs in his first six swings. He was at 12 when he took a time out with 36 seconds remaining in his first two minutes. He produced five more, hit 17 and hit his 60 second bonus time, then hit six more within the next 29 seconds to finish 23 homers and win the trophy along with a jeweled spinning necklace.
Alonso has also hit 23 home runs to beat Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the finals of the 2019 event. Last year’s All-Star Game and the associated celebrations were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Los Angeles Angels Two way star Shohei Ohtani, who headlined the event and set number 1, was eliminated by Washington Nationals star Juan Soto after an exhilarating first lap that included two tiebreakers and a total of 61 homers, 10 of which covered over 500 feet.
Ohtani started slowly and produced only one home run in his first 16 swings. But he gathered up late – thanks in part to an impromptu call from Angel’s teammate Mike Trout – and scored two home runs in the last 10 seconds of his lap to offset Soto’s original 22nd total. Each followed with six home runs in the one-minute tiebreaker. But Soto went 3-to-3 in the ensuing swing-off while Ohtani produced a hard grounder on the right and ended his night.
This year’s Derby – a three-round, eight-player bracket-style tournament with time lapses – was played in the sport’s most infamous ballpark, with baseballs not stored in the humidors trying to normalize the mile-high environment.
The first round showed that.
It produced 208 home runs, three of which exceeded 513 feet – the previous derby record set by Aaron Richter in 2017, in the six years since Statcast followed the event. Ohtani scored 15 home runs covering 475-plus-feet and Soto hit a 520-foot into the third deck in the right center. Salvador Perez 28 home runs piled, most of them ever by a catcher, and he had little chance of progressing. He lost to Alonso, who scored 35 home runs, the third most in any derby round.
Three of the four first-round matches went online. Olson followed Mancini by one, and his final swing created a deep drive into right field that resulted in a foul. Texas Rangers Outfielder Joey GalloGot hot late on was a bit shy of tying Story, but his final swing with the time remaining produced a flyball that slipped past the midfield fence.
Story expected to trade before the end of the month, with only 12 second-round homers, a total that Mancini relatively slightly surpassed. Alonso was a bit shy about tying Soto’s total of 15 on round two, then took a break with just over a minute left, turned down a water, turned to hype the crowd, went on to his head beat to the music and promptly hit two majestic Homes runs to make it to the finals.