The Home Run Derby is back tonight, and has been exciting the last two years with the new, tournament-style bracket format. This year figures to be exciting as well, with Cody Bellinger among the seven first-time challengers to defending champion Giancarlo Stanton.
Bellinger is seeded third among the eight participants, and will face Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon in the first round. Here is the bracket and the rules for tonight’s event, which will be televised at 5 p.m. PT by ESPN.
Each round is single-elimination with the higher seed batting second.
Each round is four minutes long, which starts as soon as the first pitch is released. Each subsequent pitch can’t be released before the previous batted ball is a home run, is caught, hits the ground, or leaves the field in foul territory.
The round ends once the clock strikes zero, but if a pitch was released before zero a home run hit on said pitch will count.
Batters get one 45-second timeout in each of the first two rounds. In the final round, batters get two timeouts — the first one 45 seconds and the next one 30 seconds.
If a batter hits two home runs of at least 440 feet during the four minutes, he is awarded bonus time. The bonus time is 30 seconds, with no stoppages.
If two batters are tied in their matchup, they will engage in a 60-second swing-off. If they are still tied, then it gets awesome -- the two will battle in three-swing swing-offs until a winner is declared.
The contest begins shortly after 5 p.m. PT