2019 Home Run Derby Format
The Home Run Derby has evolved over the years. While baseball is a purist’s sport and any alterations to the match itself is met with extreme resistance, changes to the derby have been met with acceptance.
Initially, the derby–such as the game itself–has been void of a clock. Rather than having a set interval to hit the ball outside, players have been awarded five outs to hit as many homers as they can. Any ball hit that did not clear the outfield wall was an out. Until 1990, it was very simple: within those five outs, the player to reach the most home runs won.
While the original format was easy enough, it was not exciting enough. In 1991, the three-round arrangement was born, allowing gamers to go head-to-head. The rules around the rounds diverse, but the general idea remained: the contestants will be whittled down into 2 going head-to-head to the name of Home Run Derby champion.
In more recent years, bracket-fever fell upon the event with a bracket established to lead to a victor and at 2015, the idea of outs was scrapped in favour of a clock, providing every hitter a time limitation within which to hit as many homers as he can. During that moment, the hitter gets one timeout and may add some time to the clock based on space. To add extra information, ties are now broken by swing-offs. The time limitation now sits in four minutes each round.
There are some intriguing names in the 2019 field. Toronto Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. is poised to be a star for years to come and could break out on the big stage in this one. Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich, Cleveland’s Carlos Santana, New York’s Pete Alonso, Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell and Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna will also be scheduled to take part. Bell and Alonso are first-time participants but have light-tower power and could put on a display.
Although this year’s group might not have exactly the same star power as a few in the past, there are some players with serious power and it should be an intriguing event. Guerrero, Jr., in particular is going to be viewed with a close attention. Bell is the favorite. The 2018 home run derby winner was Bryce Harper.