Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Pederson, Guerrero, Acuña, Alonso advance to second round of Home Run Derby

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The second round of the 2019 Home Run Derby has been set at Progressive Field. Joc Pederson defeated Alex Bregman 21-16, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. defeated Matt Chapman 29-13, Ronald Acuña Jr. defeated Josh Bell 25-18, and Pete Alonso edged Carlos Santana 14-13. Guerrero will now face off against Pederson while Acuña will match up with Alonso in the second round.

Pederson kicked things off, mashing 21 taters ahead of Bregman. No one hit 20 homers in the first round of last year’s Derby, so it looked like it might stand as the largest first-round total. Pederson’s longest homer went 452 while averaging 413 overall. Bregman, participating in back-to-back Derbies, managed only 16, one more than last year. His longest homer went 417 feet and averaged only 388 feet.

Guerrero had the most impressive showing, blasting a new Home Run Derby single round record 29 homers. He maxed out at 476 feet while averaging 421.5 feet on his homers. Chapman’s 13 homers only looked small by comparison as it’s normally a respectable total. Chapman hit one 477 feet and averaged 432 feet.

Acuña was no slouch himself, knocking out 25 long balls ahead of Bell, claiming sole possession of the third-most homers hit in a single round. His longest homer went 469 feet while averaging 428 feet. Bell got off to a slow start and never really got on a roll, but still managed 18 which also only seemed small by comparison. Bell’s longest homer went 459 feet while averaging 416 feet.

Alonso edged Santana in what was by far the most disappointing of the four match-ups in the first round. Santana, the hometown hero, couldn’t get any momentum, finishing with 13. It looked like a cakewalk for Alonso, but he could also not find a streak. His final swing of the first round went over the fence. As a result of having hit at least two homers 440-plus feet, he unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time, so he would’ve beaten Santana anyway, but he didn’t need to.

Ned Yost to retire as Royals manager

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The Kansas City Royals just announced that Ned Yost will retire following the final game of the season. Mike Matheny will take over as the Royals manager for the 2020 season.

Yost, 65, led the Royals to victory in the 2015 World Series and to back-to-back American League pennants in 2014 and 2015. He will retire as the winningest manager in Royals history. In ten years at the helm in Kansas City he is 744-836 with five games remaining. Before he managed the Royals he managed the Milwaukee Brewers for six seasons, compiling a 457-502 record. In all, he is 1,201-1,338. When he’s done on Sunday he will finish 32nd all-time in games managed with 2,544.

The Royals now will look for the man who will, hopefully, see the current rebuild through. Multiple reporters have cited former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny as Yost’s likely replacement. He currently serves as a special advisor in the club’s player development department. He managed the Cards from 2012-18, winning the NL pennant in 2013 and finishing with a record of 591-474 in St. Louis.

Here is the Royals official statement on Yost’s retirement: