Major League Baseball revealed the bracket for the 2017 Home Run Derby on Wednesday, with defending champion Giancarlo Stanton set to defend last year’s championship, this time on his home turf in Miami.
The Home Run Derby is scheduled for Monday, July 10 at 8 p.m. ET, televised by ESPN.
As the defending champion, Stanton is seeded No. 1 overall in the eight-player field, with the rest of the players ranked by home runs hit through Tuesday, July 4.
A pair of rookies are seeded second and third, with New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge the major league home run leader with 28 (he hit his 29th on Wednesday) and Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger pacing the National League with 24.
The remaining seeds are as follows:
- No. 4: Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals (24 home runs)
- No. 5: Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins (20)
- No. 6: Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies (18)
- No. 7: Justin Bour, Miami Marlins (18)
- No. 8: Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees (13)
The Home Run Derby is comprised of three rounds, with head-to-head, single-elimination matchups in each round. Each batter gets four minutes, and can earn an additional 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs of at least 440 feet (spoiler alert: most will!).
Stanton obliterated the field in 2016, setting a Home Run Derby record with 61 home runs, including 24 in the first round.
As the top seed in 2017, Stanton will battle Sanchez in the first round, with Judge facing Bour, Bellinger facing Blackmon, and Moustakas facing Sano. In each round, the higher seed hits second.
Should things hold serve, we will get to see Stanton vs. Judge in the final round, which is essentially the dream matchup. Stanton for years has dominated the Statcast tracking for longest and/or hardest-hit home runs, but Judge has taken some of that thunder this season with prodigious shots of his own.
Both are giant humans born for events like this, and both are aware of each other, even from afar.
“It's the kind of a thing where we both have to talk about [each other] all the time but don't even know each other or said hello first,” Stanton told Tim Healey of the Miami Sun-Sentinel. “A good hangout and say hello and have some batting practice before would be cool.
“It's like the twin you've never met, I guess. Everyone's comparing us to each other. We don't even know each other.”
The world is waiting for them to get acquainted.