Corey Seager is a decided underdog heading into the 2016 Home Run Derby on Monday night at Petco Park in San Diego, trying to become the second Dodgers rookie in as many years to make a splash at baseball's best power display.
Seager is just the seventh rookie in 32 years to participate in the Home Run Derby, with three of them Dodgers. The rookie derby crew includes Wally Joyner (1986), Jose Canseco (1986), Mark McGwire (1987), Mike Piazza (1993), Kris Bryant (2015) and Joc Pederson (2015).
Pederson hit 39 home runs in three rounds in last year's contest, falling narrowly in the final round to Todd Frazier, then of the Reds in his hometown park in Cincinnati. Pederson had a tough road in 2015, beating Manny Machado and Albert Pujols to get to the final.
This year, Seager is seeded eighth out of eight contestants, who were ranked on their home run totals through last Wednesday. Seager in the first round faces major league home run leader Mark Trumbo, who has 28 bombs on the season compared to Seager's 17.
Should Seager advance, in Round 2 he would face the winner of Giancarlo Stanton and Robinson Cano.
The folks at Bovada give Seager long odds to win the 2016 Home Run Derby, at +900, meaning a $100 bet on Seager would pay $900 if he won. Stanton is the favorite at +300. Seager is an underdog in the first round, at +145 to beat Trumbo.
Each round is four minutes, with the clock starting once the first pitch is released. Players are allowed one 45-second timeout per round in the first two rounds, and two 45-second timeouts in the final. Last year, only one timeout was allowed in the final.
Players can earn a 30-second bonus round in each round for hitting at least two home runs of 440 feet or longer. Last year, the minimum distance was 425 feet.
If the two batters are tied after the round, they will participate in a 60-second swing-off with no breaks. Last year, the tiebreaker was 90 seconds. But it gets better: if the players are still tied after the 60-second swing-off, the players will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner.
Before Pederson finished second in 2015, no Dodgers participant in the Home Run Derby finished higher than fifth in seven tries, with Pederson's 39 home runs last year nearly four times more than the other six efforts combined (10 home runs).
Hee Seop Choi with five home runs owns the second-best Dodgers derby performance, finishing fifth out of eight contestants in 2005.
Raul Mondesi hit two home runs, finishing tied for sixth in 1995, and Matt Kemp finished seventh with two home runs in 2011. One year later, Kemp was last out of eight with just one home run, but that was better than Piazza, who was shutout in 1993 and 1994, and Yasiel Puig, who also put up a bagel in 2014.
Seager's inclusion in the field this year gives the Dodgers a Home Run Derby participant in three straight seasons for the first time since 1993-1995.
Seager is the first shortstop in the Home Run Derby since Hanley Ramirez represented the Marlins back in 2010.
ESPN will televise the Home Run Derby beginning at 5 p.m. PT, with Chris Berman back, back, back for play-by-play, alongside analysts Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza.
2016 Home Run Derby info
Location: Petco Park
Time: 5 p.m. PT
Online: Watch ESPN