Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani had a first round for the ages. Trey Mancini was an inspiration with his underdog run to the finals. However, neither was able to stop Pete Alonso from going back-to-back and defending his Home Run Derby title.
Alonso, who won the event in 2019, began his evening with a record 35 home runs in the first round to breeze past Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Pérez. He then faced a gassed Soto in the second, needing only 16 long balls to advance to the finals. That set the stage for Alonso versus Mancini, and the Orioles’ first baseman put up a fight with 22 in the final round.
It wasn’t enough, however, as Alonso walked it off to become only the third player in MLB history to win two consecutive Derbies, joining Yoenis Céspedes and Ken Griffey Jr.
Coors Field lived up to its billing as a homer-happy venue, seeing the Derby record for the longest home run in the Statcast era broken several times. In the end, Soto stood on top with a 520-foot blast in the first round.
Yet the winner was Alonso, a result that appeared more and more inevitable with every double-decker blast. After the break, he will look to add to his season total of 17 home runs as the New York Mets attempt to win their first NL East title since 2015.