Shohei Ohtani, Pete Alonso, Full 2021 MLB Home Run Derby Bracket RevealedJuly 8, 2021
The full eight-man field for the 2021 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby has been revealed.
Dingers in Denver. The <a href="https://twitter.com/TMobile?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TMobile</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HRDerby?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HRDerby</a> field is SET.<br><br>Predict the bracket and compete to win $100,000 in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HRDerby?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HRDerby</a> Bracket Challenge. <a href="https://t.co/NWqh1d8xil">https://t.co/NWqh1d8xil</a> <a href="https://t.co/LVdKl3BWY7">pic.twitter.com/LVdKl3BWY7</a>
MLB officially confirmed that Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels), Pete Alonso (New York Mets), Juan Soto (Washington Nationals), Trey Mancini (Baltimore Orioles), Matt Olson (Oakland Athletics), Joey Gallo (Texas Rangers), Salvador Perez (Kansas City Royals) and Trevor Story (Colorado Rockies) will take part in the July 12 event.
Seven of the eight participants had been previously announced. Gallo, who went deep twice today against Detroit Tigers starter Casey Mize, was the last rumored participant and confirmed by MLB on Wednesday evening.
Ohtani, Gallo, Perez and Olson all feature prominently on the current home run leaderboard. All four players have hit at least 20 homers so far this season. Ohtani is the headliner of the group.
The Angels superstar leads MLB with 32 homers and a .692 slugging percentage. He ranks second in total bases (202, trailing only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays (204).
Looking ahead to the competition, Ohtani’s swing stats also bode well for him being able to make a deep run in the derby. Per BaseballSavant.com, Ohtani leads all players with a barrel rate of 15.3 percent per plate appearance. His average home run distance of 415 feet ranks 14th in MLB. Story (average distance of 419 feet) and Gallo (416) are the only challengers in the field ranked higher than Ohtani in that category.
Alonso, who is the defending Home Run Derby champion after winning it in 2019, isn’t hitting at the same level he did when he won this event. The Mets first baseman is having a solid season with 15 homers and a .474 slugging percentage.
Putting Alonso in the thin air of Coors Field could certainly play to his strengths as a power hitter. The same could also be said of Soto, whose overall power numbers have been a disappointment to this point (10 homers, .438 slugging percentage).
Mancini is certainly going to be the sentimental favorite. The Orioles star has had a successful comeback season after sitting out 2020 when he announced he had been diagnosed with colon cancer.
Since being declared cancer-free in November, Mancini has hit 15 homers with a .450 slugging percentage. Olson and Perez are reliably consistent power hitters. Olson is on pace to slug over .500 for the third time since 2017. Perez already has 20 homers and a .509 slugging percentage so far in the first half for the Royals.
Story is going to have the home-field advantage as the Rockies’ representative in the field. The last player to win the Home Run Derby on his home field was in 2018 when Bryce Harper beat Kyle Schwarber in the finals at Nationals Park.