Home Run Derby issues format change


The Home Run Derby is altering its format.

This year’s event, which takes place on July 15 at Arlington, Texas, limits the number of pitches each hitter can face in each round and changes the setup of its opening round.

In the first round and the semifinals, each hitter will get either three minutes or 40 pitches, depending on which of those benchmarks gets reached first. In the final round, a hitter will get two minutes or 27 pitches. That doesn’t include the bonus periods that hitters will get in each round.

Under the previous format, hitters still faced a time limit but there wasn’t any restriction on the number of pitches they could face.

Each hitter will get bonus pitches until they hit into three outs during that period. He gets a fourth out if he hits a homer that goes at least 425 feet in the bonus period. Under the old format, each hitter got an extra 30 seconds of bonus time and could receive another 30 seconds of bonus time if he hit two homers of at least 440 feet during the regulation period.

All eight hitters will be competing against one another in the opening round, with the top four advancing to the semifinals. The semifinalists will be seeded depending on how many homers they hit in the first round.

Under the previous format, the eight hitters essentially competed in a tournament, with one-on-one quarterfinal, semifinal and championship matchups. They were seeded according to their season home-run totals.

Although Major League Baseball hasn’t yet announced all the players competing in this year’s Home Run Derby, Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson said Sunday night on social media that he would be participating. Last year’s Home Run Derby was won by Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

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