Pete Alonso will attempt to defend 2019 Home Run Derby crown

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Former Florida baseball star Pete Alonso announced Wednesday that he will try to defend his Home Run Derby crown in Denver next month. The New York Mets first baseman won the event in 2019 when he outslugged Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 23-22 in the final round.

“I had so much fun during the first one, so I was like, ‘You know what? Let’s do it again,'” Alonso said, according to MLB.com. “I just had a blast.”

The Polar Bear, as he is affectionately called, will have some stiff competition this year including two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, who is tied for the MLB lead in homers with 23.

Alonso also hasn’t sent too many baseballs out of the yard with only 11 this season. But the Derby is being held at Coors Field, where he’s homered three times in six games. Regardless of how many home runs he has, Alonso is guaranteed to be the top seed in the event because he is the defending champion.

He will try to be the fourth player to win the Derby twice. Alonso sits sixth in All-Star voting among National League first basemen, but he doesn’t need to be an All-Star to compete.

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