We now know six of the eight sluggers in this year’s Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium, with a new kid on the block throwing his hat into the ring on Wednesday.
Mariners center fielder Julio Rodríguez announced on social media that he’ll swing for the fences next Monday, July 18.
Rodríguez is hitting .274/.334/.477, a 135 wRC+ with 15 home runs and 21 stolen bases in his first big league season for the surging Mariners, who have won 16 of their last 19 games. The 21-year-old was an MLB pick revealed Sunday for the American League All-Star team.
That makes for six known hitters for the Home Run Derby, which will be televised next Monday by ESPN. Along with the rookie Rodríguez, the Derby also has two-time champion Pete Alonso, National League home run leader Kyle Schwarber, Nationals star Juan Soto, Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr., and Albert Pujols, who made his major league debut when Rodríguez was three months old.
ESPN will reveal the full bracket for the Home Run Derby on Thursday from 4-5 p.m. PT, but with two spots remaining there isn’t much drama left.
Under the current three-round, bracketed system, players have been seeded by their home run totals up to a certain date during the season, most often the Tuesday before the All-Star Game. Through Tuesday, here’s how this year’s field stacks up:
- Schwarber: 28 home runs
- Alonso: 23
- Soto: 17
- Rodríguez: 15
- Acuña: 8
- Pujols: 6