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Pete Alonso’s 10 steps to winning a Home Run Derby, via Jeff Passan

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New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso will look to become the first player in history to win three consecutive home run derby events.

Alonso is just the third player in MLB history to win back-to-back Home Run Derby events after taking home the 2019 and 2021 trophies; the 2020 derby was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yoenis Cespedes (2013 & 2014) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1994, 1998 & 1999) are the only other players since the event’s inception in 1985 to win back-to-back events.

Alonso will take on Braves’ right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. in the first round of this year’s tournament in a battle of NL East foes. Alonso recently sat down with ESPN’s Jeff Passan and revealed to him the 10-step plan he has to winning the derby. The comments after each rule come from yours truly.

  1. Hydrate Like Crazy

    1. It seems like an obvious one but when you’re out there swinging a bat 200 times, hydrating might seem like a good idea.

  2. Get Moral Support

    1. Part of the fun of the HR derby is seeing the competitors and their support groups hanging around in front of the dugouts.

  3. The Opponent Doesn’t Matter

    1. If you think about it, you’re really only competing with yourself.

  4. Find the Right Pitcher

    1. Every kid grows up wanting to have his dad throw him baseballs at the HR derby.

  5. Know Your Zone

    1. The benefit of having a good pitcher is that they know exactly where to throw the ball. You want to highlight your positives and hide your negatives.

  6. Stick to Your Swing

    1. Routine. Routine. Routine.

  7. Use your Timeouts Smartly

    1. You want to make sure that you’re as fresh as possible throughout the round.

  8. Let Your Emotions Out

    1. It’s important to take everything in, but it’s also important to stay focused so you can do your best.

  9. Hit Tanks

    1. Like Uncle Rico, but with a baseball bat.

  10. Have A Blast

    1. What is an exhibition mid-summer tradition if it’s not fun?

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