Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins, a No. 8 seed in the 2018 Home Run Derby, upset Brewers first baseman and No. 1 seed Jesús Aguilar in the first round. Hoskins went first, blasting 17 home runs, which was more than enough to hold off Aguilar, who hit 12. Hoskins got into a groove, pulling quite a few home runs down the left field line. Aguilar’s pace was comparatively much slower and he didn’t use his time-out until he had about a minute and a half remaining.
Hoskins’ longest home run went 463 feet and he maxed out in exit velocity at 108 MPH. For Aguilar, those numbers were 428 feet and 106 MPH, respectively.
The seeds were accurate, despite the upset. Hoskins had 14 home runs in the first half, the fewest of any of the eight contestants. Aguilar’s 24 first-half homers led the National League and is the most among the Derby contestants.
We’ll have more updates for you as the Derby progresses. Kyle Schwarber and Alex Bregman are currently doing battle. They’ll be followed by Javier Báez and Max Muncy, and Freddie Freeman and Bryce Harper.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.