Back-to-back champ Pete Alonso to open 2022 MLB Home Run Derby with Ronald Acuna Jr. rematch

Looking for history, back-to-back champion Pete Alonso will begin his hunt for a third title as No. 2 in the 2022 Home Run Derby on Monday night at Dodgers Stadium.

The New York Mets star meets Ronald Acuna Jr., the No. 7 seed, in the second round of the 2019 Home Run Derby. Alonso hit a buzzer-hitting homer to eliminate Acuna en route to his first derby win.

Alonso, who has hit 23 homers this season and leads the National League with 72 RBIs, is only the third player in history to win back-to-back derby titles. A third win would forever link him to Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.

National League home run leader Kyle Schwarber is the top seed at the event and will face off against future Hall of Famer and No. 8 seed Albert Pujols.

Schwarber, who has hit 28 home runs this season, is making his second Derby appearance. He finished second in 2018 behind current teammate Bryce Harper.

Pujols, a Derby veteran, is taking part in his fifth event, although he has only reached the final once so far. Pujols is fifth in MLB history with 684 homers and has hit six so far this season on his return to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager arrives as the No. 3 seed and meets Seattle Mariners rookie and No. 7 seed Julio Rodriguez.

Seager, who has hit 21 home runs for the Texas Rangers this season, is competing in his first derby since his rookie year in 2016. Rodriguez, who has hit 15 home runs during his excellent rookie campaign, will be looking to join Alonso and Aaron Judge as the only rookies to win the derby outright.

Finally, Cleveland Guardians star Jose Ramirez will make his long-awaited Derby debut as No. 5 against Juan Soto, No. 4.

Soto made a derby debut in 2021 in which he upset No. 1 Shohei Ohtani in a matchup that resulted in a swing-off. He also hit the longest home run ever recorded at the Derby, a 520-foot shot. Ramirez is in the midst of another outstanding season; he has hit 17 homers and leads the American League with 68 RBIs.

Each batter has three minutes in the first two rounds to hit more home runs than their opponent before a two-minute final round. The winner will receive $1 million in prize money of $2.5 million, the losing finalist will receive $500,000, and the other six participants will each receive $150,000. The player with the longest home run gets an additional $100,000.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34245148/back-back-champ-pete-alonso-open-2022-mlb-home-run-derby-ronald-acuna-jr-rematch Back-to-back champ Pete Alonso to open 2022 MLB Home Run Derby with Ronald Acuna Jr. rematch

Emma Bowman

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