LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers rookie All-Star outfielder Joc Pederson will be one of eight contestants in the 2015 Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Monday. The announcement was made on Wednesday on ESPN.
Pederson is tied for fifth in the National League with 20 home runs entering play on Wednesday, setting the record for most home runs before the All-Star break by a Dodgers rookie. He is also one of just three National League rookies ever with 20 home runs before July 1, joining Wally Berger (1930) and Pujols (2001).
Pederson is one of eight contestants in the revamped event, along with Pujols, Todd Frazier, Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson, Prince Fielder, Manny Machado and Anthony Rizzo.
Under the new format, the eight players will be bracketed, and face off in single-elimination battles. In each of the three rounds, batters are given five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible.
"I've never done a home run derby before, but I think swinging for five minutes, that's a long time," Pederson said.
Pederson will face Machado in the first round, with the winner facing the Pujols/Bryant winner in Round 2:
"Just to be a part of the Home Run Derby, it's something I dreamed of as a little kid," Pederson said. "You watch all the great home run hitters, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, all these great guys who participated, Ken Griffey. I think it's a special event."
Pederson said he would take Triple-A coach Johnny Washington, his hitting coach at rookie-level Ogden in 2011, to Cincinnati to pitch to him for the event.
The Dodgers have a long history of terrible performances in the Home Run Derby, with the five home runs hit by Hee Seop Choi in 2005 by far their best performance. Here are the number of home runs and finish of each Dodgers contestant in the event in its history:
1993: Mike Piazza 0 (8th of 8)
1994: Mike Piazza 0 (8th of 8)
1995: Raul Mondesi 2 (t-6th of 8)
2005: Hee Seop Choi 5 (5th of 8)
2011: Matt Kemp 2 (8th of 8)
2012: Matt Kemp 1 (7th of 8)
2014: Yasiel Puig 0 (10th of 10)