The ball was flying in a stacked Home Run Derby!
After the Home Run Derby was canceled alongside the rest of the All-Star festivities in 2020 due to COVID, the 2021 performers put on a show. This was one of the most star-studded fields in recent memory and the participants lived up to the hype.
The first round was full of upsets, with six seed Trey Mancini, taking down the three seed Matt Olson 24-23. This was a hell of a performance by Mancini, who was playing to prove that he could still perform at a high level after overcoming Cancer.
The second matchup of the night saw the hometown hero Trevor Story upset slugger Joey Gallo. Gallo was the favorite to takedown Shohei Ohtani, the MLB home run leader.
The 2019 homerun derby winner, Pete Alonso was not playing around, hitting 35 bombs with ease to defend his crowd. His opponent Salvador Perez clubbed 28 which would have beat anyone else, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Polar Bear.
The fourth match of the first round saw the odds on favorite Shohei Ohtani take on Juan Soto. In what was arguably the best matchup of the night, neither superstar held back. Juan Soto started things off by launching 23 homers, including a blast that went 520 feet, which set a derby record.
Ohtani started off slow but in the last 90 seconds, he was able to heat up and his potential game-winning bomb fell just short. The two went into overtime, where they both clubbed five bombs. This set up for a swing-off where each player was allowed three swings. Soto went first and took advantage, blasting three homers. Ohtani’s first swing fell way short and Soto was able to pull off the massive upset.
In the semi-finals, both Trey Mancini and Trevor Story were gassed, but Mancini was able to just eke out a win. In the other semi-final, Juan Soto put on a valiant effort, but his double-overtime match against Ohtani left a toll. Alonso didn’t even need extra time to take down “Childish Gambino”.
Trey Mancini started off the finals by unloading pitch after pitch. The face of the Orioles finished with 22, but it wasn’t enough. Pete Alonso at times looked like he wasn’t even trying, but was able to just blast homer after homer. The Mets slugger came from behind to walk off Mancini and defend his title.
After a year without All-Star festivities, the fans were rewarded for one of the most exciting Home Run Derbys in years!