The 2019 Home Run Derby bracket has been finalized and was just announced on ESPN. We knew six of them heading into tonight: The Indians’ Carlos Santana, the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the Brewers’ Christian Yelich, the Mets’ Pete Alonso, the Pirates’ Josh Bell, and the Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr.
They will be joined by the Astros’ Alex Bregman and the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson.
Yelich and Alonso are No. 1 and 2 in baseball in homers with 31 and 28, respectively. Bell is fourth with 26. Bregman’s 23 are good for 10th place. Pederson and Acuña each have 20, Santana has 18, and Guerrero has eight.
Bregman was in the Derby last year, narrowly losing to Kyle Schwarber in the first round 16-15. Pederson lost in the finals to Todd Frazier 15-14 in 2015. Everyone else is a newcomer.
- Yelich (1) vs. Guerrero (8)
- Alonso (2) vs. Santana (7)
- Bell (3) vs. Acuña (6)
- Bregman (4) vs. Pederson (5)
Tune into the 2019 Home Run Derby at Progressive Field on Monday, followed by the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
Braves 21-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. nabbed his 30th stolen base of the season on Friday, becoming the second-youngest player in Major League history to produce at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Per MLB Stats, the only other player under 22 years old to pull off the feat is Mike Trout, who did so with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases during his age-20 season in 2012.
Acuña’s triumphant moment came in the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the Mets. He drew a six-pitch walk against righty reliever Seth Lugo, then waited for an opportune moment as Ozzie Albies stepped to the plate. Lugo fired a 93-m.p.h. fastball to Albies for ball no. 2, which was promptly returned to second base by catcher Wilson Ramos. The throw came in high, however; Amed Rosario had to jump to make the catch, allowing Acuña to slide safely into the bag and hit his career mark.
It’s been an eventful season for the All-Star outfielder, whose 36 home runs and 30 stolen bases helps pad a .294/.377/.536 batting line and 5.1 fWAR over 597 plate appearances. Through the first 11 innings of Friday’s contest, he went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks and a stolen base.