The Home Run Derby will be held at Dodger Stadium Monday with several top sluggers declining to participate and no Dodger in the eight-player field, but two members of their 2021 team taking part.
Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager is seeded third and will face Seattle Mariners rookie center fielder Julio Rodríguez, who is seeded sixth, in the first round.
The seedings were determined by the participants’ home run totals through Wednesday, when the field was set.
Seager, who played for the Dodgers from 2015 through 2021, had 28 home runs when seeds were set. Rodríguez had 15.
The Seager-Rodríguez winner will face the winner of the matchup between Pete Alonso, the New York Mets’ first baseman who won the last two Home Run Derbies, and Ronald Acuña Jr., the Atlanta Braves’ right fielder who has been limited to 59 games as he recovers from a torn right ACL suffered last July.
St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Alberto Pujols is seeded eighth and will face top-seeded Kyle Schwarber in the first round.
The 42-year-old Pujols is the oldest competitor in the history of the Home Run Derby, which has been conducted annually since 1985, except for 1988, when it was canceled due to rain, and 2020 when all All-Star Game-related activities were canceled due to the delayed start of the season caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
This will be the fifth Home Run Derby appearance for Pujols, who played 85 games for the Dodgers in 2021 after being released by the Los Angeles Angels. He lost 9-8 in the final of the 2003 derby, his first, to Garret Anderson of the then-Anaheim Angels.
Pujols had six home runs at the time of the seedings. Schwarber had 28 and added another Saturday. The Philadelphia Phillies’ left fielder is second in MLB in home runs, behind New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge, who has 33.
The Pujols-Schwarber winner will face the winner of the matchup between fourth-seeded Juan Soto, the Washington Nationals’ right fielder, and fifth-seeded José Ramírez, the Cleveland Guardians’ third baseman, who is seeking to become the first switch-hitter to win a Derby.
The Dodgers’ leading home run hitter is Mookie Betts, who is four-way tie for 14th with 20, the same number as Soto. He has never participated in a Home Run Derby.
Judge is not participating in the Home Run Derby, telling the New York Post last month there was “no need,” because “I already did it once,” referring to his victory in the 2017 Derby as a rookie. He has not participated since then.
Five of the other top eight home run hitters are also not participating, including Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout and New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton, a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks.
Trout had said on July 8 he would not participate. Trout has never participated in a Home Run Derby. He was first eligible in 2012. He pulled out of the All-Star Game on Sunday due to lingering back spasms after being voted in as a starter for the American League.
Stanton won the 2016 Derby. He has not been a participant since 2017 when it was held at his then-home park, Miami’s Marlins Park.
The Home Run Derby is a single-elimination tournament in which the loser of each bracket is immediately eliminated. In each bracket, the higher seed will hit second.
Each batter receives three minutes in the first and second rounds and two minutes in final round. Timers start with the release of the first pitch.
Thirty seconds of bonus time is automatically awarded for each player. An additional 30 seconds of bonus time is awarded for any player that hits a home of at least 475 feet during the initial time period of each round.
Ties in any round broken by 60-second swing-off with no stoppage of time or additional time added. If a tie remain after the swing-off, batters will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner.
Each batter entitled to one 45-second time out per round
The Home Run Derby is set to begin at 5 p.m. Traditional coverage will be provided by ESPN. ESPN2 will offer a Statcast alternate telecast and ESPN Deportes a Spanish-language telecast.
The Home Run Derby is part of the All-Star Workout Day, which begins at 2:15 p.m. with the National League team’s 55-minute batting practice session. The American League team will conduct batting practice from 3:15-4:10 p.m.
A limited number of tickets for the All-Star Workout Day are available at www.mlb.com/all-star/tickets.