Each year on the night before the annual All Star game eight of the game’s players gather to see who can “knock it out of the park” in the Home Run Derby.
This year the Home Run Derby and the All Star game are taking place at the home of the National League Washington Nationals.
The 2018 Home Run Derby contenders are:
Philadelphia Phillie Rhys Hoskins
Milwaukee Brewer Jesus Aguilar
Chicago Cub Kyle Schwarber
Houston Astro Alex Bregman
Chicago Cub Javier Baez
Los Angeles Dodger Max Muncy
Atlanta Brave Freddie Freeman
Washington National Bryce Harper
The batters are paired up for a head to head match with the batter who has the most home runs moving on to the next round.
Each batter will have four minutes to hit as many homers as he can, but he must wait for one pitch to land before the next pitch can be thrown. Each batter is allowed a time out.
If a batter hits two balls at least 440 feet, he will earn a 30 second bonus added to his batting time.
Should a tie occur, there will be a one minute swing off.
The first batter to come to the plate is Rhys Hoskins who hit a total of 17 including his first and last swings.
Next up is Jesus Aguilar who hit eleven homers.
Rhys Hoskins wins the first head to head battle.
In the second head to head match up, Kyle Schwarber comes to the plate and hit a total of 14 home runs but he is the first batter to earn the 30 second bonus where he he hit an additional two homers for a grant total of 16 home runs.
Alex Bregman comes to bat and hits 15 home runs and barely misses tying the score.
Kyle Schwarber wins the second head to head battle.
Up next is Javier Baez who hit 14 home runs but reached his 30 second bonus time early on in the at bat. Baez hit an additional two homers for a grand total of 16 home runs.
Max Muncy comes to the plate and hits 17 home runs with 35 seconds to go to upset Javier Baez to move on to the next round.
In the final match up, Freddie Freeman comes to bat first and hits 12 home runs.
The final batter in round one is home town player Bryce Harper who not only reached his bonus time with two balls hit at least 440 feet, he hit many more that far in a part he knows well. Harper reaches 13 homers to beat Freddie Freeman with over 30 seconds remaining in his original time.
In the next round, Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber facing off and Max Muncy and Bryce Harper facing off. The winners will face each other for the tropy and home run derby winner for 2018.
After a break for the military members to hold their home run derby finals Army beating Navy with just one home run after Navy failed to hit any homers.
Rhys Hoskins is the first batter to come to he plate in round two and hits a whopping 19 home runs and hits more than enough to earn a 3 second bonus time. Hoskins adds another home run to make it a total of 20 home runs after hitting 16 in his first round.
Kyle Schwarber comes to the plate and hits 21 home runs and even though he has a 30 bonus, does not need it to win the round. Kyle Schwarber is in the finals.
Max Muncy is up next and hits 12 home runs.
The final batter in round two is Bryce Harper who again needs only 13 homers to win the round and has over a minute remaining on the clock. Bryce Harper will face Kyle Schwarber for the championship.
In the final round, the batters get two time outs.
Kyle Schwarber comes to the plate first and hits 17 home runs but has an additional 30 bonus time to add more homers. He hits one more homer to make it a total of 18 for his final round.
One last time hometown player Bryce Harper comes to the plate and hits 18 home runs with a 30 bonus after getting on tear in the last minute. He hits a home run in his bonus round to win the silver bats! Harper hands the trophy to his Dad who was pitching to him.
Harper becomes only the third player to win the home run derby in his home park.
He called it a dream come true to have his Dad throwing to him in the derby.
feature photo credit (cropped): By State Farm on Flickr – Originally posted to Flickr as “Victory”, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20328107