The Home Run Derby has become a staple of the All-Star festivities since it was first introduced in 1985, and Major League Baseball seems determined to keep improving the competition.
Eight players will take part in this year's event, and they are seeded based on the number of home runs they have hit to this point in the season. Ties are broken by giving the edge to the players who have hit the most home runs since June 1.
The eight players in the derby include Mark Trumbo of the Baltimore Orioles, defending champion Todd Frazier of the Chicago White Sox, Adam Duvall of the Cincinnati Reds, Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, Wil Myers of the San Diego Padres, Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies and Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Major League Baseball is running the Home Run Derby the same way the NBA or NHL runs its playoffs. The top seed will square off with the eighth seed, the second seed will meet the seventh seed, the third will battle the sixth and the fourth will meet the fifth.
After the first round, the highest remaining seed will meet the lowest, and the two middles seeds will battle for a spot in the finals. Those two semifinal winners will meet in the championship round.
Each hitter will have four minutes to hit as many balls over the fence as possible, and a player can gain an extra 30 seconds of hitting time by hitting two blasts that go 440 feet or more. Hitters competing in the first two rounds get one 45-second break in each round, while finalists can call timeout twice in that round.
If a round ends with the two participants tied, they will meet in a 60-second swing-off, with no timeouts available. If it is still tied, each player gets three swings until the tie is broken.
MLB went to these rules in 2015, per Sports Illustrated.
Frazier won last year's title as a slugging third baseman of the Cincinnati Reds. This time, he represents the Chicago White Sox, and he will try to become the second White Sox power hitter to win the Home Run Derby. The other winner was Hall of Famer Frank Thomas.
Frazier will have to take on Gonzalez, and he knows that's a tough matchup. "You look at who I'm stacked up against, and there are some big guns," Frazier told Scott Merkin of MLB.com. "It starts off with Carlos Gonzalez. It's going to be a tough first round."
Stanton's ability to hit the long blast may make him the most exciting figure in the Home Run Derby. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Stanton has hit 32 home runs that have traveled 450 feet or longer since 2010.
Cano won the event in 2011, and his smooth swing gives him a chance to get in a groove and rip off a slew of home runs.
Trumbo will be expected to beat Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, but expectations bring pressure. If Trumbo doesn't get off to a good start, he could have a hard time dominating the competition.