Growing up, the best part of the MLB All-Star festivities was the Home Run Derby. Most of us folks on the wrong side of 30 remember Chris Berman announcing Mark McGwire moon shots. Others remember Yoenis Cespedes’ back-to-back championships.
It’s meant to be fun. And it brings us all back to our childhood.
This year’s version of the event will feature some players who are just a few years removed from their childhoods. It’s going to be rather refreshing.
Here are the participants with their home run numbers in parenthesis (as of July 7th):
— MLB (@MLB) July 8, 2015
Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs (12)
Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays (21)
Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers (13)
Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds (25)
Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles (18)
Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers (20)
Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels (26)
Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (16)
Random note here. Pederson was eight years old when Pujols made his Major League debut with the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2001. Make you feel old yet?
The new format indicates that contestants will be seeded based on their home run totals through July 7th. It will be single-elimination with an actual five-minute time clock. This should help shorten the event.
Here are the brackets.
1. Albert Pujols
8. Kris Bryant
4. Joc Pederson
5. Manny Machado
3. Josh Donaldson
6. Anthony Rizzo
2. Todd Frazier
7. Prince Fielder
Cubs fans haven’t had much to cheer for in recent years, so a Bryant vs. Rizzo final is something most of us should be rooting for.
Photo: USA Today Sports