No. 2 Bryce Harper vs. No. 3 Max Muncy
Max Muncy ran out of gas in the second round, and ended with 12, tied for the low round of the night. That was an easy number for Harper to beat, doing so with 1:11 remaining.
Winner: Harper, 13-12
No. 5 Kyle Schwarber vs. No. 8 Rhys Hoskins
Rhys Hoskins tied for the best total in the first round with 17, then promptly opened the second round with an even better showing. He blasted 19 home runs in his four minutes, and also earned the bonus 30 seconds with two long shots. He tacked on one more for the first 20 round of the night.
Kyle Schwarber had a huge number to beat, and he did. Like Hoskins, Schwarber earned the 30-second bonus, but ended up not needing it. He homered on his final swing as time ran out for a buzzer beating walk-off for the Cubs outfielder. Schwarber is on to the finals.
It was just the fifth and sixth rounds of 20 or more home runs in 52 total rounds since this new timed, bracketed format was introduced in 2015.
Winner: Schwarber, 21-20
No. 2 Bryce Harper vs. No. 7 Freddie Freeman
Freddie Freeman set the number with 12 home runs, but that was tied for the fewest so far in the first round. Bryce Harper in his home park had the crowd behind him, and they showered him with praise befitting a Nationals treasure. Harper earned the bonus time but didn’t need it, walking off Freeman with 26 seconds left, including a series of majestic shots.
Winner: Harper, 13-12
Did you see Harper’s shoes?
No. 3 Max Muncy vs. No. 6 Javier Baez
Javier Baez swings at everything, which we saw in the first round. But he also put a charge into quite a few balls, too. Baez secured the bonus 30 seconds with two long homers in the first minute of his round, then ended up with 16, including two in his extra time.
Max Muncy started this season in the minors, and since getting called up by the Dodgers in April leads the team with 22 home runs, matching his total in the majors and minors for 2015 and 2016 combined. He delivered the first walk-off of the night, hitting his 17th home run to beat Baez with 32 seconds still on the clock.
Winner: Muncy, 17-16
Oh say can you see?
No. 4 Alex Bregman vs. No. 5 Kyle Schwarber
Schwarber was the first left-handed batter of the competition, and was also the first hitter to earn the 30 second bonus by hitting two shots of at least 440 feet. Schwarber had 14 home runs in his four minutes, then added two more in his extra 30 seconds, giving Bregman a big number of 16 to shoot at.
these decorated bats are the future right? They look cool, allow for personalization and sweet for the pitchers to blow up a bat a hitter took the time to design.
— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) July 17, 2018
Alex Bregman had a furious late run, including five home runs in the final minute to pull within one of Schwarber, but Bregman’s final drive that would have forced a one-minute tiebreaker instead ended up …
Winner: Schwarber, 16-15
No. 1 Jesus Aguilar vs. No. 8 Rhys Hoskins
Rhys Hoskins was the first batter, the No. 8 seed from the Phillies. He started slow but got into a groove after calling a timeout. He put up a solid 17 in his round, something reached only six times in 14 rounds in the last two years.
That’s a big number for top seed Jesus Aguilar to beat, and he didn’t. Aguilar did fine, hitting 12 home runs. But he was also taking his time, trying for a tortoise vs. hare situation against Hoskins. Only this time the hare won.
Winner: Hoskins, 17-12
Using your head
Bryce Harper is the host here, and the No. 2 seed among the eight contestants. But in the headgear category he is the top bandana:
Finding the best angle
The All-Star festivities are fun, and the players have a good time. And they want to capture the moments in the best way possible. George Springer will stop at nothing to make sure the photo is juuuuust right:
We are all out here trying to find that friend who is as dedicated to taking our Instagram photos like George Springer is: pic.twitter.com/j63qpsYUXs
— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) July 16, 2018
Diamondbacks All-Star pitcher Zack Greinke is never one to hold back his opinions.
Zack Greinke, asked about his expectations for the home run derby: “I expect the home run derby will be boring and I’ll leave early.”
— Ted Berg (@OGTedBerg) July 16, 2018
Each round features head-to-head competition in timed rounds. Each player gets four minutes to hit as many home runs as possible, with a 30-second bonus if the player hits two home runs at least 440 feet long. Bryce Harper of the host Washington Nationals is the only contestant with any Home Run Derby experience, having competed in 2013.
Here is the field, with their home run totals at the All-Star break:
- Jesus Aguilar (Brewers): 24 HR
- Bryce Harper (Nationals): 23 HR
- Max Muncy (Dodgers): 22 HR
- Alex Bregman (Astros): 20 HR
- Kyle Schwarber (Cubs): 18 HR
- Javier Baez (Cubs): 19 HR
- Freddie Freeman (Braves): 16 HR
- Rhys Hoskins (Phillies): 14 HR
The seeding was done based on home runs hit through Tuesday, July 10.
ESPN will televise the Home Run Derby, with a Statcast-enhanced broadcast on ESPNews and Spanish-language telecast on both ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. Online streaming is available through Watch ESPN and MLB.com.