Pete Alonso will become a star at Home Run Derby

Arnold Nichols
July 10, 2019

That fell just short of Alonso, who needed 45 seconds to hit his first homer and labored his way to hit his 14th with one second left before his 30-second bonus would have kicked in. Vladdy took it home with two home runs in the second swing-off, ending his second-round with a total of 40 home runs.

Now 11 years later, that record has been broken.

Alonso showed some dramatic flair with two nail-biting wins to reach the final against Guerrero.

Alonso, making the major league minimum of $555,000 this season, has hit 30 home runs.

On the other side of the bracket in the first round, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who is 21, stepped up and crushed 24 homers.

The derby lost its top seed on Sunday as Christian Yelich, the reigning NL MVP and current home-run leader, withdrew from the contest citing a nagging back issue.

Alonso became the first Met to win this event outright - Darryl Strawberry tied the Angels' Wally Joyner in 1986 - and the second rookie, following the path blazed by the Yankees' Aaron Judge in 2017.

When the dust settled and the carnage was over, Vlad Jr. had set a new record, hitting 29 home runs in a single round of the Home Run Derby. They each hit one during a three-swing tiebreaker, and Guerrero hit two in a second three-swing tiebreaker to finally win the round. After catching his breath, Guerrero smashed eight homers in the 60 second swing off. Pederson matched him with eight of his own, tying Junior on his final swing as the buzzer sounded.

Each player then had three swings and both homered once. Pretty much they were all just saying conserve as much energy as possible between rounds, hydrate, get electrolytes and keep the body loose, but you don't need to exert energy taking too many swings.

Guerrero did have the honor of hitting the longest homer of the night, 488 feet, in the second round.

Guerrero hit 91 homers total to pass Giancarlo Stanton's Derby record 61 set in 2016.

At 20 years and 114 days, Guerrero, Jr. was the youngest participant in the history of the Home Run Derby.

It's important to note that the format for the derby was different for Guerrero Jr. than it was for Hamilton in 2008.

Swinging from his heels and trying to hit a home run every time goes against his usual approach at the plate.

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