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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wins epic second round Home Run Derby battle with Joc Pederson

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Just over an hour after Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. set the single-round Home Run Derby record with 29 home runs — and tied his own record in the second round — Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson tied him with 29 home runs in the second round. That forced the two players into a one-minute playoff where each player hit eight home runs and forced a “swing-off” in which each player gets three swings. Each hit one home run, forcing another “swing-off.” Guerrero hit two and Pederson hit only one.

At the end of it, Guerrero was credited with 40 second-round homers — the new single-round record — and Pederson 39. Guerrero already has the record for most home runs in an entire Home Run Derby with 66 (excluding swing-offs), surpassing the 61 Giancarlo Stanton hit in 2016. Pederson is in third place with 58.

Guerrero is now in the 2019 Home Run Derby finals, awaiting the winner between Pete Alonso and Ronald Acuña Jr.

This has been perhaps the best Home Run Derby ever. The single-round record was broken by Guerrero, who then tied his own record, and Pederson then tied that record before the series of tiebreakers. The single-derby record was broken. Unbelievable, really. (More believable if you’ve been following the controversy over the “juiced” baseball, but still.)

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.