Thursday, August 11, 2022

2022 MLB Home Run Derby bracket: Corey Seager joins Albert Pujols, more in challenging Pete Alonso for title

2022 MLB Home Run Derby bracket: Corey Seager joins Albert Pujols, more in challenging Pete Alonso for title

It will be a star-studded event on July 18 at Dodger Stadium

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The 2022 MLB Home Run Derby is set to take place Monday, July 18 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. in Dodger Stadium, which is hosting the event). There’s plenty of star power. We had already seen plenty of reports leading up to the official announcement, but the bracket was revealed Thursday night. 

The sluggers are seeded based upon their number of home runs as of the unveiling of the bracket. 

2022 MLB Home Run Derby seeds

1. Kyle Schwarber, Phillies 

8. Albert Pujols, Cardinals

4. Juan Soto, Nationals

5. José Ramírez, Guardians

3. Corey Seager, Rangers

6. Julio Rodríguez, Mariners

2. Pete Alonso, Mets

7. Ronald Acuña, Jr., Braves

And here’s a bit to know about each participant (all stats as of the time of the official announcement):

  • No. 1 seed: Schwarber is the NL home run leader with 28 and trails only Aaron Judge (30) for the MLB lead. He hit 32 in only 113 games last season and 38 in 2019. He has 181 home runs in 751 career games, a 162-game average of 39. This will be Schwarber’s second time in the Derby, and perhaps he views it as unfinished business. He was the runner-up to now-teammate Bryce Harper in 2018. He hit 16 in the first round, 21 in the second and 18 in the finals.
  • No. 8 seed: Pujols, who was named to the All-Star Game last week by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, is expected to announce his retirement at season’s end. This, then, is an honorary nod to an inevitable Hall of Fame inductee. Pujols has hit .220/.305/.390 (99 OPS+) with five home runs in 48 contests. This will be his fifth career Derby, as he’s previously taken part in the 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2015 editions.
  • No. 4 seed: Soto has hit .245/.402/.490 (158 OPS+) with 19 home runs in his first 87 games this season. This will be his second Home Run Derby, and he recorded 46 home runs in last year’s event. Soto ended up losing to Alonso in the semifinals.
  • No. 5 seed: José Ramírez is only 5-foot-9 but has immense power. After a 36-homer season in 2021, he has 17 homers in 2022 to go along with 30 doubles, four triples and an AL-best 68 RBI. He hit a career-high 39 home runs in 2018. He’s declined previous invitations, but this time around he has decided to join in on the fun. 
  • No. 3 seed: Seager has 21 home runs in 84 games this season, meaning he’s a strong bet to blow by his previous career high of 26. That happened his rookie season in 2016, and he also took part in the Home Run Derby that season in San Diego. He hit 15 homers in the first round but was eliminated by No. 1 seed Mark Trumbo. This is a fun entry, as Seager spent the first seven years of his career with the Dodgers and he’ll be in front of his former fan base. 
  • No. 6 seed: Still only 21, Rodriguez will be the 14th rookie to compete in the Home Run Derby, and he’ll try to become the third to win it outright, joining Aaron Judge (2017) and Alonso (2019) — Wally Joyner was co-champ as a rookie in 1986. Rodríguez recently reached 15 home runs and 20 stolen bases faster than any player in history.
  • No. 2 seed: The 27-year-old Alonso has 23 home runs in 88 games. Alonso won the Derby in 2019 at Progressive Field in Cleveland and then again last year in 2021 at Coors Field in Denver. (No All-Star events were held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.) In L.A., Alonso will be trying to join Ken Griffey Jr. as the only player win the Home Run Derby three times. No player has even won three in a row. Alonso, Griffey Jr. and Yoenis Céspedes are the only sluggers to win consecutive Derbies.
  • No. 7 seed: Acuña is hitting .275/.371/.431 (121 OPS+) with eight home runs in his first 56 games. It’s worth noting that he missed the onset of the season while recovering from a torn ACL that prematurely ended his 2021 campaign right ahead of that year’s All-Star Game. The Alonso vs. Acuña bout is a rematch. In 2019, Acuña hit 25 homers in the first round to eliminate Josh Bell (the No. 3 seed), but then Alonso bested him, 20-19, in the semifinals. 

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