It was announced Sunday that this year’s Home Run Derby, set to be held July 13 at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park as part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will now play out as a bracket-style, timed event. The eight-player field, which is still to be determined, will be organized into a single-elimination bracket, lasting three rounds.
Instead of a set number of “outs” per round, each player this year will have five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. A running clock will begin counting down upon release of the first pitch, though it will stop for any home run hit during the final minute. The clock will stop immediately after those home run balls land and will not begin again until a non-home run ball lands or the batter swings and misses.
Hitters will also be awarded bonus time for showcasing some extra pop. Contestants will receive an additional minute of swings if they hit two home runs projected to land 420 feet during a single turn, as well as another 30 seconds if they hit a blast of at least 475 feet. All distances will be measured using Statcast™.
Oh god, not this again. Every year the MLB tinkers with the home run derby to try and make it exciting again, and every year it comes out worse and worse. The derby is almost unwatchable at this point, and the only reason people tune in is because it’s one of the few days a year where there are literally no sports. You’re forced to listen to Chris Berman try and sound witty and fresh using the same catchphrases he used in 1990. The only reason the Home Run Derby used to be really popular was because there were guys who were ‘roided out of their minds blasting balls 900 feet. Now, instead of McGuire and Sosa hitting a million home runs, we get Todd Frazier and Nolan Arenado hitting two or three that barely get over the fence. Sad thing is, I’m going to be watching June 13th along with everybody else