The 2021 MLB Home Run Derby was one for the books, and now that the dust has settled, it’s time to reflect on the night.
Entering the event, Los Angeles Angels rising superstar Shohei Ohtani was getting most of the attention from fans and the media, but it was ultimately New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso who stole the show.
With Coors Field at play, batted balls were flying out of the park left and right.
The Derby was filled with epic moments and storylines, and today, we are going to rank the three best moments from Monday night’s event.
3. Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani’s Epic Duel
As the lowest seed in the event, Juan Soto wasn’t on the radar of many MLB fans going into the Home Run Derby.
The 22-year-old star had the misfortune of drawing Ohtani in the first round of the event, and almost everyone anticipated a quick exit for Soto.
But instead, he went toe-to-toe with the Angels star, and the two players ultimately had to complete two swing-offs in order to determine who would advance.
In the end, Soto pulled off the major upset.
JUAN SOTO BEAT OHTANI IN THE DERBY WOOOpic.twitter.com/vymzEQIo9o
— OPT (@OnePursuitTakes) July 13, 2021
While many fans were disappointed to see Ohtani eliminated in the first round, it was an awesome battle between the two MLB heavy-hitters.
Check out this clip of some of Ohtani’s biggest blasts:
Ohtani hit these to the top deck 💥
He was gassed after 😂 pic.twitter.com/C9uuqGYU7J
— ESPN (@espn) July 13, 2021
2. Trey Mancini Makes It To Derby Final After Beating Cancer In 2020 Offseason
On the whole, it has been a miserable 2021 season for the Baltimore Orioles, but Trey Mancini’s story has been an extremely bright spot.
After missing the entire 2020 season due to a battle with colon cancer, Mancini became cancer-free in November and fought his way back to the field in time for the start of the 2021 season.
His story is a very inspirational one, and when you consider what he has been able to accomplish this season, it all becomes even more moving.
Mancini managed a great OPS+ of 116 during the first half of the 2021 season to go along with 16 home runs and 18 doubles.
He made it all the way to the final round of Tuesday night’s Home Run Derby before ultimately falling short to Alonso, the eventual champion.
Perhaps Mancini will give the event another go in 2022.
From beating Cancer to the HR Derby…Trey Mancini is a Legend. pic.twitter.com/U0QPqhU7QB
— Barstool DMV (@Barstooldmv) July 13, 2021
1. Pete Alonso’s Walk-Off Winner
Alonso made it look easy on Tuesday night.
After putting up a whopping 35 homers in the first round of the Derby, Alonso cruised through the rest of the event en route to his second-career Home Run Derby title.
He is now the back-to-back champion.
He capped things off with this walk-off blast:
PETE ALONSO WINS IT!
— ESPN (@espn) July 13, 2021
While Alonso has never been able to hit for a high average, he makes up for it in other departments.
The 26-year-old has a career .883 OPS and 135 OPS+.
He averages 48 home runs and 112 runs batted in per 162 games played.
— Manny S. (@MMS0272) July 13, 2021
The sky is the limit for the third-year star, and it seems like we may see him in the Home Run Derby for years to come.
After all, he seems to enjoy the event more than anyone we’ve ever seen before.