Home Run Derby 2019: Three Takeaways from Pete Alonso’s Win Over Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Everybody loves the long ball and there was plenty of that Monday in this year’s Home Run Derby.

Matt Chapman, Pete Alonso, Josh Bell, Alex Bregman, Joc Pederson, Ronald Acuña Jr., Carlos Santana and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all showed their stuff at Progressive Field, but it was the young stars who stole the show.

Bell and Alonso entered the day as favorites, but Bell had a first-round exit after hitting 18 compared to Acuña’s 25. Alonso survived by knocking out the hometown-favorite Santana in the first round and made it to the finals with a walk off to knock out Acuña.

Alonso ended up winning the contest, beating out Guerrero in the finals for $1 million and the derby championship.

Chapman, the top seed who had the unfortunate luck of being pitted against Guerrero, was eliminated in the first round.

Here are three takeaways from the 2019 Home Run Derby:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. proves he belongs, and then some

Guerrero wanted 30 in the first round. He didn’t get it, but he was certainly close.

Guerrero ended regulation with 24 home runs – the most of anyone in the first round – but then had a 30 second bonus. It was in that time the 20-year-old third baseman fired off five more homers to set a derby record. He beat Josh Hamilton’s previous mark of 28 in a round.

As the youngest player in the derby, many wondered how Guerrero would handle the pressure after he had just eight home runs before the All-Star break.

He proved his first-round feat wasn’t just a one time thing. He hit 29 again in regulation during the semifinals against Pederson. When that round finally ended, he had the most home runs (69) in a single derby ever and still had a round to go.

Guerrero finished with 91 total homers.

The derby had its first ever swing off

Pederson and Guerrero were in the playoffs. Yes, the playoffs. While they both hope to be competing in the postseason after the second half of the season, they were in another high-pressure scenario Monday.

Pederson and Guerrero were tied throughout the second round and extra time, which forced a swing off for the first-time ever. Each batter got three swings, Guerrero picked his cautiously but only had one home run. Pederson also had just one homer in the first swing off.

The two went toe-to-toe again but it was Guerrero who had the edge, beating Pederson 40 to 39.

Carlos Santana couldn’t get it done in front of a home crowd.

Santana received by far the biggest cheer during the player introductions to start the night. If anyone is used to hitting in the park, it’s the Indians infielder.

But, he was eliminated from the derby in the first round after Alonso beat his mark of 13.

Santana, who entered with 19 homers so far this season, struggled Monday. It took him about a minute to get going and he was able to gain momentum with 90 seconds left. Despite the early elimination, Santana, who is a first time All-Star, still enjoyed his day

“I’m excited, especially here in Cleveland. I’m going to enjoy it,” Santana said.

Santana spent the first seven years of his career in Cleveland and was traded back to the Indians after spending a year with the Phillies.

He is batting .297.

Author: Alexis Mansanarez

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