Yankees rookie slugger Aaron Judge needed 23 home runs to get past Marlins first baseman Justin Bour in the first round, then easily defeated Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger and Twins third baseman Miguel Sano in the semifinals and final, respectively, on Monday night at Marlins Park in Miami.
New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge, showing prodigious power to all fields, beat Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano, 11-10, in an anticlimactic final of the Home Run Derby at Marlins Park on Monday night.
Judge, who beat Miami’s Justin Bour in the first round and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger in the semifinals, hit homers on the first three pitches he saw in the final round and added a 480-foot shot for his fourth homer.
With two minutes left in the four-minute regulation round, Judge blasted a 458-foot shot to straight-away center field for his 11th homer to pass Sano and end the derby.
“I had a lot of fun, I hoped the fans enjoyed the show,” Judge, who hit a major league-leading 30 homers before the All-Star break, told ESPN afterward. “It was an awesome atmosphere. Everyone put on a show here.”
Sano, who eliminated Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas in the first round and Gary Sanchez of the Yankees in the semifinals, had only one homer when he called his first timeout with 2:34 left in regulation and four homers when he used his second timeout with 1:24 left.
He finished strong, hitting six more homers, including a 449-foot shot at the buzzer to earn a 30-second bonus round. But Sano was unable to hit another ball out of the park and apply more pressure on Judge.
After hitting 12 homers in an exhausting second round of Monday night’s Home Run Derby, Cody Bellinger was asked by the ESPN crew what he thought his chances were of advancing against New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who had begun taking his hacks. “Negative 12,” the Dodgers rookie said with a laugh.
He was right. Judge hit his 13th homer, a blast that traveled 507 feet to left-center field in Marlins Park, with one minute left in the four-minute regulation round to pass Bellinger and advance to the derby final against Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano.
Bellinger, with his father, Clay, a former big-league utility player, pitching, eliminated Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon, 15-14, in the first round. But he was clearly worn out in the semifinals, telling ESPN, “With one minute left, I couldn’t even feel my arms.”
Judge, who beat Miami’s Justin Bour, 23-22, in the first round, was struggling in the semifinals, as well, hitting several pop-ups and only five homers when he called timeout with 2:48 left.
Smart move. A rejuvenated Judge restored order by clubbing homers on the next two pitches and then smashing his 513-footer, putting him well on his way to the final.
Miguel Sano, the Minnesota Twins slugger whom many considered a “sleeper” in Monday night’s Home Run Derby, advanced to the final with an 11-10 win over New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez in the semfinals. Sano will face the winner of the Cody Bellinger-Aaron Judge semifinal.
Sanchez had a strong first round, hitting 17 homers to upset Miami slugger and defending champion Giancarlo Stanton, but he looked a little gassed in the semifinals, with many of his drives dying at the warning track. Sanchez hit nine homers in the four-minute regulation period and one in the 30-second bonus round.
Sano hit his 11th homer with about 50 seconds left in regulation to pass Sanchez and conserve some energy for the final round.
A player from the hometown Miami Marlins fired up the crowd with an electric power display in the Home Run Derby, and it wasn’t Giancarlo Stanton, the defending champion who was a heavy favorite to repeat Monday night.
Miami first baseman Justin Bour crushed 22 homers in the first round, at one point calling a timeout and waving his arms violently, like he was a professional wrestler, to implore the fans to get into it while Stanton shoved a doughnut in Bour’s mouth.
But Bour’s impressive display came to an abrupt end when New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge put on an even more prodigious power show, crushing 23 homers to eliminate Bour, 23-22, to advance to the semifinals against Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger. He could potentially meet teammate Gary Sanchez in the finals.
Judge, who leads the major leagues with 30 homers, hit homers all over the park, to left field, straight-away center and right-center, and his longest homer traveled 501 feet. The rookie outfielder tied Bour with 22 homers in the four-minute regulation round and hit another in the 30-second bonus round to advance.
Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger hit a pair of buzzer-beating homers, one that traveled 446 feet in the final 10 seconds of regulation and another with five seconds left in the 30-second bonus round, to beat Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon, 15-14, in the first round of the Home Run Derby.
The left-handed-hitting Blackmon, the Rockies leadoff hitter and center fielder, had a solid round, lining most of his homers to right field, but did not hit any homers that traveled 440 feet or more, so he was not awarded the 30-second bonus round.
The left-handed-hitting Bellinger, with his father, Clay, pitching to him, hit 13 homers in the four-minute regulation round, but his last one traveled 446 feet, giving the 21-year-old rookie 30 more seconds to tie or beat Blackmon.
Bellinger hit the first and last pitches he saw in the bonus round for homers to become the third player to win a first-round matchup by one homer.
Gary Sanchez was the outlier in this year’s Home Run Derby field, the guy who supposedly didn’t belong because he has hit only 13 homers in 57 games this season, but the New York Yankees catcher silenced that criticism with an upset of defending champion Giancarlo Stanton in the first round.
Sanchez, who was seeded eight, clubbed 17 homers, including a pair of 474-foot shots and one that traveled 483 feet, to edge out the top-seeded Stanton, the Miami slugger who finished with 16 homers, including six that traveled 480 feet or more. Stanton’s longest blast traveled 496 feet.
Stanton clearly felt pressured by Sanchez, who hit first, as it took him several swings before he found his rhythm. Stanton then got hot, smashing homer after homer off the glass windows beyond the left-field wall.
He hit 14 homers in the first three minutes of the four-minute round but appeared to run out of gas, hitting only one homer in the final minute. Stanton needed two homers in the 30-second bonus round to tie Sanchez but could manage only one.
Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano showed prodigious power in the first round of the Home Run Derby, hitting three of his 11 homers 468 feet or more to edge out Mike Moustakas, 11-10, in the first round. Three times, Sano hit the windows that form the wall beyond the left-field wall in Marlins Park.
Moustakas, the Kansas City Royals first baseman, hit 10 homers in the first 4 1/2 minutes of his round, most of them line drives into the right-field seats, but he failed to homer on his five swings in the final 30 seconds and was eliminated.
The Dodgers have been well-represented in the Home Run Derby this decade, but Joc Pederson is the only Los Angeles player to make it out of the first round, losing to hometown favorite Todd Frazier in the 2015 derby finals in Cincinnati.
Corey Seager clubbed 16 homers in the first round of the 2016 derby in San Diego but lost to Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo. Yasiel Puig was shut out in the 2014 derby at Minnesota’s Target Field, failing to hit one home run and apologizing to fans afterward.
Matt Kemp participated in the 2012 derby in Kansas City and the 2011 derby in Arizona. Both experiences were forgettable for the former Dodgers outfielder — he hit two home runs in 2011 and one in 2012 and was eliminated in the first round both years.
Cody Bellinger, the 21-year-old rookie who leads the team with 25 homers and 58 RBIs in just 70 games since being called up from triple-A in late April, is next up for the Dodgers. He will take on Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon in the first round in Miami.
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Clay and Cody Bellinger will be the fourth father-son tandem to compete in Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby when the former big league utility player pitches to the Dodgers rookie phenom Monday night at Miami’s Marlins Park.
Cody Bellinger, 21, did not accept an invitation to the annual event, which is part of the All-Star game festivities, until he was sure that Clay, a firefighter in Gilbert, Ariz., could get off work.
His shifts covered, Clay Bellinger, who played parts of four seasons with the New York Yankees (1999-2001) and Angels (2002), will look to groove as many pitches as he can to his son, the left-handed-hitting slugger who was called up in late April and leads the Dodgers with 25 homers and 58 RBIs.
The competition will be stiff. If Bellinger can beat Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon in the first round, he would probably square off in the second round against New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who leads all of baseball with 30 homers and hit a major league-long 496-foot homer in June.
Defending champion and hometown favorite Giancarlo Stanton, who is tied with Cincinnati’s Joey Votto for the National League lead in homers with 26 and hit a 462-foot shot in May, and Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano are in the opposite bracket.
Robinson Cano’s father, Jose, pitched to his son in the Home Run Derby four times, winning the event in 2011 and participating in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Bryce Harper’s father, Ron, pitched to the Washington Nationals slugger in 2013. Bryce advanced to the finals, where he lost to Yoenis Cespedes. Kris Bryant’s father, Mike, pitched to the Chicago Cubs third baseman in 2015. Bryant was eliminated by Albert Pujols in the first round.