It’s the night before the annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game from the home of the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie.
But first, the sluggers will take the field to show off their home run hitting skills in the annual Home Run Derby.
The players have four minutes to hit as many home runs as they can. Players who hit two balls over 440 feet will earn some extra hitting time.
The eight players are divided into four pairs who will face off with each other.
Second generation player Vladimir Guerrero Jr is the youngest player ever to participate in the Home Run Derby.
Up first is Los Angeles Dodgers Joc Pederson who will go up against Houston Astros Alex Bregman.
Joc hit 16 home runs but has earned himself an extra 30 seconds of hitting time for hitting at least two homers over 440 feet. After the extra hitting time, Joc Pederson hit a record setting 21 home runs. This is the first time that a batter hit 21 homers in the first round.
Alex Bregman hit 16 home runs with no extra bat time.
Joc Pederson won the round and will move on to the next round.
Up next is second generation player and Toronto Blue Jays Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Vladimir’s first homer was 460 feet and he only needed two more to hit a second on over 440 with 476 feet. He also hit several more hoers over 440 feet including one at 472 feet. Vladimir hit 24 home runs and still have his 30 second bonus time remaining. And with that Vladimir Guerrero set a record with a total of 29 home runs.
Oakland Athletics Matt Chapman goes up against Guerrero with his dad Jim Chapman throwing the balls. Matt hit 13 homers in the regular time but has earned his 30 bonus time. Matt failed to hit any homers in the bonus time and had only 13 home runs. Vladimir Guerero wins the round and will move on to the semi final round.
The third match-up pairs Atlanta Braves Ronald Acuna Jr and Pittsburg Pirates Josh Bell for a battle of the home runs.
Up first is Ronald Acuna with 23 home runs and earned himself some bonus time. Ronald only hit two more home runs in his bonus time for a total of 25 home runs.
Calling the other side of Lake Erie home, the Pirates Josh Bell takes the plate to see how many homers he can hit. Josh Bell hit 17 home runs during the regular time and earned himself some bonus hitting time. Josh hit only one honer during his bonus time for a total of 18 home runs. Ronald Acuna Jr wins the round with 25 home runs.
In the final pairing, home town hero Carlos Santana goes against New York Mets Pete Alonso for the final spot in the semi finals.
Indians’ Carlos Santana takes the plate first and after a slow start belts 13 home runs. Santana is the first batter not to earn the 30 second bonus time.
The final batter in round one is Pete Alonso who launches 14 home runs in regular time. Alonso earned his bonus time by hitting two homers at 452 feet. But already hitting more home runs than Carlos Santana, Alonso does not need to use his bonus time.
A total of 148 home runs her hit in the first round setting a new Home Run Derby record.
Vladimir Guerrero gets the semi finals round started off by hitting 27 homers in his regular time and still has his bonus time to go. During an interview after the first round, Vladimir said that he was aiming to hit 30 homers. And with his bonus time, Vladimir Guerrero hits 29 home runs for the second time and ties another record.
Next up is Joc Pederson who has his work cut out for him. And at the end of his regular time, Joc has hit 27 homers and still has his bonus time to go. Joc Pederson ties Vladimir Guerrero with 29 home runs.
After the tie, both batters will have a swing off tie breaker round where they will each have one minute to hit homers. Up first is Vladimir who hit eight more homers for a total of 37 home runs. Joc Pederson again matched Vladimir and hit eight homers for a total of 37.
Now they will battle one more time in a three swing, swing off. This is the first time the competition has had a swing off. Vladimir hit only one homer in his three swings. Now it’s up to Joc Pederson who hit one home run for another tie.
In another swing off, Vladimir hit another two home runs for a total of 40 and setting another record.
And in the final at bat, Joc Pederson hit only one home run for a total of 39 and gives the win to Guerrero.
After hitting a total of 69 home runs, Vladimir Guerrero moves on to the finals in hopes of becoming the youngest player to win the Home Run Derby at age 20.
Ronald Acuna Jr and Pete Alonso go head to head for the last spot in the finals and a chance to beat out Vladimir Guerrero.
Up first is Ronald Acuna Jr who hit 25 homers in the first round. Ronald hit 18 home runs in his regular time but has the 30 second bonus time for a chance to add to his total. Ronald only hit one more homer in his bonus time for a total of 19 home runs.
Rounding out the semi finals, Pete Alonso hit 20 home runs in his regular time to beat out Ronald Acuna Jr. Alonso earned his bonus time but does not need the time.
The final round for the title will be the American League vs the National League with Vladimir Guerrero and Pete Alonso.
In his final round, Vladimir Guerrero hit a total of 22 home runs for a grand total of 91…30 more than the previous record.
Pete Alonso hit 23 home runs with 20 seconds of regular time remaining to beat out Vladimir Guerrero for the title of Home Run Derby winner…and a million dollar prize.
feature photo credit: By Arturo Pardavila III from Hoboken, NJ, USA – What they swing for: The T-Mobile #HRDerby trophy., CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53428743