The 2021 MLB Home Run Derby was full of emotions and, of course, long dingers.
The fact that it was held at Coors Field, in the thin air of Denver, Colorado, helped the ball travel further, and there were some tape-measure home runs.
Trey Mancini, the people’s sentimental favorite, not only participated but made it to the finals in impressive fashion.
Shohei Ohtani fell in the first round, but managed to perform well despite a lousy start.
But these two men stole the night.
2. Juan Soto, Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals star Juan Soto put on a clinic.
He was the eighth seed, and had to face everybody’s favorite to win the competition, Ohtani.
It took a tie-breaker and a swing-off, but Soto got past the Los Angeles Angels star and met Pete Alonso in the second round, where he finally lost.
However, he left a strong impression on the night.
In the swing-off against Ohtani, each batter had three swings to get the most possible home runs.
Exhibiting his fantastic eye and impressive power, Soto connected the maximum three taters, putting all the pressure on Ohtani, who failed to hit a home run on his first swing and was eliminated as a result.
Soto hit the longest homer of the night, a 520-foot blast.
In fact, that 520-foot laser in the first round wasn’t only the longest of the night, but the longest recorded in the Derby in the Statcast era.
Juan Soto is 22 years old.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 13, 2021
Soto peppered Coors Field with homers to all fields and places.
It was a truly inspiring performance.
1. Pete Alonso, New York Mets
The only player with a stronger, more impressive performance than Soto was the winner, Alonso.
Since his first round showdown against Salvador Perez, Alonso looked superhuman.
Looking at him, you had to wonder if there was someone in the pool capable of beating him.
He hit 35 home runs in the first round, in just four minutes: that’s mind-blowing!
His right-handed swing is geared to generate lots of lift and natural power.
On his way to the title, he dispatched Perez, Soto, and Mancini.
Mancini has been the story of the season after coming back from stage 3 colon cancer and shining for the Baltimore Orioles this season.
But Alonso stole the night on Monday, and even though Mancini batted first in the finals showdown, the Mets slugger earned the victory with around 30 seconds to spare.
As it turns out, Alonso is a fan of the Home Run Derby.
He said, according to MLB.com:
“I think I’m the best power hitter on the planet. Being able to showcase that and really put on a fun display for fans, it’s truly a dream come true for me. When I was younger, my parents actually let me stay up past my bedtime to watch this.”
He was a one-man wrecking crew last night, and MLB fans all over the country and the world enjoyed a truly special display of power.
PETE ALONSO CAREER EARNINGS…
Winning the Home Run Derby twice: $2 million
Actual salary, 2019-21: $1.47 million
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) July 13, 2021
Just like it happened in 2019, Alonso earned $1 million for his Derby victory.
Impressively, and due to MLB’s current salary scale, he has made more money winning Home Run Derbies (two victories, $2 million) than his base salary since he is a major leaguer.