The 2016 baseball season is headed for its All-Star break, which means it's time for one of the great summertime traditions in the form of the Home Run Derby.
Fans can catch the Derby at Petco Park in San Diego on Monday, July 11, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. A live stream is available at WatchESPN.
The Home Run Derby will continue with the format introduced in 2015. Players are seeded according to their total number of home runs to this point in the season, with the highest seeds playing the lowest in a bracket format.
It's single elimination, with each batter getting four minutes to sock as many dingers as possible. If a player hits two home runs of 440 feet or greater in a round, they will get 30 seconds of bonus time (Giancarlo Stanton, this rule is for you).
Eight players are whittled down to four, then two, until finally a champion is crowned. MLB Communications released the bracket for the upcoming event:
Here's a rundown of the players and their home run totals going into Sunday's action:
|1||Mark Trumbo||RF/DH||Baltimore Orioles||28|
|2||Todd Frazier||3B||Chicago White Sox||25|
|3||Adam Duvall||LF||Cincinnati Reds||23|
|4||Robinson Cano||2B||Seattle Mariners||20|
|5||Giancarlo Stanton||RF||Miami Marlins||19|
|6||Wil Myers||1B||San Diego Padres||19|
|7||Carlos Gonzalez||RF||Colorado Rockies||18|
|8||Corey Seager||SS||Los Angeles Dodgers||17|
|MLB.com; *through Saturday, July 9|
Todd Frazier is the defending champion in the event. Representing the Cincinnati Reds last season, he bested the Los Angeles Dodgers' Joc Pederson 15-14 in a thrilling final round at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Frazier, now a member of the Chicago White Sox, won't have a chance to play hometown hero this year. That task is up to San Diego's Wil Myers, who leads his Padres with 19 home runs on the season.
The Dodgers have been well-represented in recent Home Run Derbys, with Yasiel Puig and the aforementioned Pederson taking a crack at the competition. This year, it's another young gun in rookie shortstop Corey Seager, who is bringing up the rear with 17 home runs but has proved to be one of the league's most promising young talents in making this year's All-Star Game.
Seager may not be long for the competition, as he goes up against top-seeded Mark Trumbo in the first round. The Baltimore Orioles slugger leads the majors with 28 home runs, and he is third among Home Run Derby participants in average home run length at 413 feet, per MLB.com's Doug Miller (Carlos Gonzalez and Stanton are first and second, respectively).
Based on his previous run-outs in the Derby, the Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina likes Trumbo's chances:
The head-to-head format plays to Trumbo’s favor because of his consistency hitting the ball out of the park. When Trumbo competed in the 2012 derby – which was different in that hitters advanced to the finals by total homers hit over the first two rounds – Trumbo was the only player to hit six or more homers in each of the first two rounds.
While Trumbo's consistency might win him the competition, the player most likely to play the role of fan favorite is Stanton, who crushes long home runs with great regularity and recently hit his 200th career home run.
The 26-year-old is going through a trying season, sporting a .233 average and slugging just .487, well off his usual marks. It's a frivolous competition to be sure, but Stanton could use some sort of a boost as he looks to put his miserable first half of the season behind him.
Should the Marlins masher find his stroke, he'll win over the crowd—and quite possibly win the whole Derby—by blasting baseballs high into the Southern California summer night.