An entirely new format has been setup for this year’s Home Run Derby unlike what we’ve seen from the event in years past. The new bracket-style challenge could make things interesting for the field of ten players involved and should present some interesting watching tonight from Minnesota’s Target Field.
Under the new rules, each player will receive seven outs in the first round instead of the usual ten. The player with the highest home run total from each league will receive an automatic bye into the third round (the semifinals). The next two players with the highest totals will face off against eachother head-to-head in the second round, again receiving seven outs, before moving on to the semifinals to face their league’s top seed (again, with seven outs to work with).
From there, the winner from each league will face off in the finals. Once again, players will be working with just seven outs apiece. Should they remain tied after that then the first tiebreaker will afford players another three outs.
The Home Run Derby has seemingly lost some of its luster in recent years, as the event tends to drag on a bit and ultimately take longer than anticipated before a winner is crowned. Now, rather than competing against the field players will need to win out their own league first before standing a chance at winning it all.
This year’s Home Run Derby will begin at 8:00 PM EST and is scheduled to be aired on ESPN. Chris Berman and John Kruk will do the announcing.
The field includes ten players, five each from the National League and American League. We take a closer look at each of them on the next page (note: all stats are entering play as of Friday).