The 2021 MLB Home Run Derby will be played in Denver, Colorado, on July 12 at Coors Field.
Several top sluggers have already confirmed their names as participants, with a couple of slots yet to fill out.
The Derby usually generates as much hype and enthusiasm as the MLB All-Star Game itself, if not more.
The fact that these three sluggers will participate makes the event extremely appealing.
3. Matt Olson
Matt Olson may not have the exposure that some of his similarly talented sluggers have, but when he gets going, nobody can stop him.
He is especially known for his excellent defense at first base and his prodigious raw and game power.
This year, he is already up to 20 round-trippers and has a .923 OPS.
In his last full season, in 2019, Olson hit 36 balls out of the park, and he had 14 last year in the abbreviated MLB season.
He has a sweet swing from the left side of home plate that generates plenty of lift.
There are some skilled contestants in this year’s derby, but Olson has what it takes to take home the award.
He has been one of the Oakland Athletics’ best young players in the last three or four years, and now, he will try to make a strong impression on a big stage.
2. Pete Alonso
When it comes to raw power, very few hitters can match New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso.
He was the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year after breaking the record for most home runs for a first-year player, with 53.
He managed to hit 16 home runs last season even if he struggled from a batting average perspective (.231).
And this year, he is already up to 15 even though he has already had a stint on the 10-day injured list.
Alonso has some contact issues, and he is not the perfect hitter.
However, he is very good, and he is perfect for the Home Run Derby.
In fact, Alonso is the defending champion of the event, since he won in impressive fashion in 2019 and last year’s edition was cancelled due to COVID-19.
PETE ALONSO HAS DONE IT! Alonso is the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby champion after knocking off Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in an absolutely incredible battle from start to finish!#HomeRunDerby pic.twitter.com/CT0E28ddci
— MLB Highlights (@MLBDaily365) July 9, 2019
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. may have put on a show that year, but Alonso was also impressive with 57 total homers and a first-place finish.
1. Shohei Ohtani
The Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star will participate in his first Home Run Derby.
Shohei Ohtani is the leader in home runs on the 2021 season with 31, which is awfully impressive since we are still in early July.
Same Shohei Ohtani, d̶i̶f̶f̶e̶r̶e̶n̶t̶ same day.
Second home run of the game, MLB-best 28 for the season. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/aa8Tf9UOPe
— Jason Coskrey (@JCoskrey) June 30, 2021
His left-handed swing generates so much power that he can hit the ball out in any count, on any field, at any moment and against any pitcher.
The fact that this edition will be played at Coors Field will almost guarantee the fireworks by the talented participants, and Ohtani is leading the charge.
He is, as of now, the strongest candidate to win the American League MVP award when all is said and done, by far.
The fact that he will participate in the Derby makes it a can’t-miss show.