Mets' Pete Alonso aiming third consecutive All-Star Home Run Derby victory
July 12, 2022
New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is aiming to become the first player to win three consecutive All-Star Home Run Derby. Those participating in the race include the St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols, the Washington Nationals' Juan Soto, and the Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr.
Alonso will compete in the 2022 Home Run Derby in Los Angeles next week on July 18 at Dodger Stadium. Major League Baseball announced Monday the return of one of the event's most successful hitters on its official Twitter page.
"It's a really fun event," said Alonso on Monday prior to the Mets' 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves. "It's going to be super exciting, so I'm really looking forward to it."
Alonso is among the eight confirmed players participating in the event. The brackets for the eight-man competition will be announced on Thursday. There will also be five other participants.
"It's an honor to be back in the All-Star Game and to have a chance to be part of the Home Run Derby, that's something I enjoy a lot and my kids will have a blast," said Pujols on Monday night. "Hopefully, I can put on a good show for them, because at the end of the day, it's not about us, it's about putting a good show for the fans."
Last year, Alonso became the third back-to-back champion of the Home Run Derby by defeating Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini. On his way to the title, Alonso hit 74 home runs, covering a distance of 6.35 miles.
"I think I'm the best power hitter on the planet," said Alonso following the victory last year.
"Being able to showcase that, and putting on a fun display for fans, I just think it's a dream come true for me because when I was young, my parents let me stay up past my bedtime to watch this. That was one of the few nights per year I actually got to stay up past my bedtime, just watch incredible feats that you don't see in a regular baseball game."
The Mets begin Monday's game with a 53-33 record and first place in the National League East. Alonso tops the squad with a .273 batting average, 23 home runs, and 70 RBIs.
Alonso dazzled the crowd at Coors Field last year with a final-round total of 23. He joined Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Cespedes (2013-14) in winning consecutive titles with New York bench coach Dave Jauss pitching to him.
"This is just surreal," said Alonso. "It's just truly a blessing."
Alonso announced on Monday that Jauss would be his pitcher again next week.
He added, "just need to give him about two pots of coffee for before and a case of Bud Light for after, and he said he's good to go".
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the All-Star Game scheduled for Dodger Stadium in 2020 was canceled.
As a rookie, Alonso won the 2019 Derby at Cleveland by defeating Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the final round, also by 23-22. Guerrero's father won the event one year ago, hitting 91 home runs.