The final home run of tonight’s 2019 MLB Home Run Derby presented by T-Mobile traveled 429 feet. It was the 57th home run hit by the Mets’ rookie first baseman Pete Alonso over the competition’s two and a half hours and it netted him a cool $1 million.
It was not the coolest part of the night, though. He and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. survived a gauntlet of fatigue, uncooperative pitching, and a pesky wall in left field that made it trickier for right-handed power hitters to get their dingers in.
But the two righties overcame that all to make it to the final round. At the end of the night, Guerrero Jr. had 91 home runs over Alonso’s 57, but in the final round, when it counted the most, Alonso out-dingered Vladito, 23-22.
Here’s a cool visualization:
An amazing Home Run Derby tonight!!! 24.5 miles of home runs hit!!!! Here's every home run hit tonight. pic.twitter.com/ToZmsqict8— Daren Willman (@darenw) July 9, 2019
Those 24.5 miles combine 312 home runs hit tonight. The Dodgers’ Joc Pederson got things started with a 21-homer barrage to start things off. In the next round, he and Guerrero Jr. had three tie breaker turns (three swings each), with Vladito winning the semifinal 40-39.
There were a lot of home runs hit and a lot of Home Run Derby records broken,
Through the opening round of the Home Run Derby tonight, we have seen record breaking 149 1st-Round HR (previous record 128 in 2017) and 2 of the 3 highest single-round HR totals in derby history: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (29) and Ronald Acuña Jr. (25) pic.twitter.com/Bg5m7mPYZn— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 9, 2019
but what really stood out was Guerrero Jr. and Alonso’s commitment and talent. You may have seen video of Vlad Jr. practicing for the derby by taking timed BP. The way he attacked not just the clock but any pitch close to the zone was truly impressive. Here’s a 20-year old using the full power of his youth to focus on an exhibition, and just because it’s baseball.
His father’s “legacy” might have something to do with it, too. Vlad Guerrero won the HR Derby in 2007.
We’ll be seeing Guerrero Jr. in the derby again. It’s kinda scary to think about just how much larger and stronger he’ll be. He set the record for most home runs in a derby tonight with those 91. He will probably hit 100 next time. That is an absurd idea to consider. 91 is nuts, too! But, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Hits 100 Home Runs to Win Home Run Derby is wild. Home runs might not mean much anymore, but one hundred home runs means one hundred.
In the meantime, Alonso’s cousin pitched to him and might’ve been at least half responsible for the lower home run total on the night, but Alonso’s gift of power is unmistakable. He launched pitches to right center field and when he went to center and left field, the ball jumped off the bat in the same way. He really does have power to all fields.
The Giants have hit 349 home runs combined since the start of 2017, meaning that in just over two and a half hours tonight we saw 89% of the Giants’ home run output in two and a half years.