It’s time for the prologue of the Midsummer Classic – an appetizer that promises to feature plenty of dingers from baseball's biggest mashers.
That’s right, we’re talking about the annual Home Run Derby. The yearly showcase of the game’s strongest bats that launches All-Star week like a fastball blasted over the right field wall.
But how does the Home Run Derby work?
Let’s take a look at the scoring and rules of the slugfest, as well as a round-by-round breakdown.
What are the rules of the MLB’s annual Home Run Derby?
The Home Run Derby is a competition like no other, featuring eight of the MLB’s best players in one bracket.
When it comes to rules, they definitely differ from the typical 9-inning spectacle you watch as you inhale Cracker Jacks and a hot pretzel in the stands. Each participant gets a set amount of time, beginning with three minutes in the first round, to try to hit as many home runs as he can – and when the pitcher isn’t trying to throw strikes, the hitters can be much more successful. Pete Alonso smashed 74 homers en route to the title last year.
Each batter also gets one 45-second timeout at any point during regulation time. And in addition, all batters get 30 seconds of bonus time, or 60 seconds if the player hits a home run that is at or farther than 475 feet.
How does scoring work at the MLB Home Run Derby?
Batters who have racked up the most homers at the end of each round will advance to the next round. There are eight participants to start, four who advance to round two, and two who face off to be crowned Home Run Derby champion.
In regard to ties, these instances are broken by a 60-second swing-off. There are no breaks or bonus time when ties are being broken.
Round-by-round breakdown of the MLB Home Run Derby
There are three rounds total in the MLB Home Run Derby.
Rounds one and two last three minutes, while round three lasts two minutes.
How can I watch this year’s Home Run Derby
You can watch this year’s Home Run Derby on the MLB Network or ESPN. The event starts at 8 p.m. ET.