On July 8, the 2019 Home Run Derby will be held at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. The Home Run Derby is, basically, a meaningless spectacle, but gosh, it is fun. Especially in person. If you ever get the chance to attend a Home Run Derby, I highly recommend it.

In an effort to lure more big name players to this year’s Home Run Derby, MLB has increased the winner’s prize to $1 million. The total pool money has been increased to $2.5 million. Last year’s winner, Bryce Harper, received a $125,000 prize. Total pool money for the 2018 Home Run Derby was $525,000.

The eight Home Run Derby participants are expected to be officially announced at some point during the first week of July. Until then, we will track Home Run Derby rumors and reported participants right here, so make sure you check back for updates.

Current Field

Despite not being called up until late April, Blue Jays wunderkind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will reportedly take his hacks in the Home Run Derby. Vlad Jr. is one of the game’s best young power hitters and is already a household name. The Home Run Derby was made for players like this.

Indians fans will get to root for a hometown player in the Home Run Derby. First baseman Carlos Santana has accepted a Home Run Derby invitation. The switch-hitter will hit left-handed. There has been at least player from the host team in the Home Run Derby each year since 2013. Todd Frazier (2015, Reds) and Bryce Harper (2018, Nationals) both won it in their home parks.

Mets rookie sensation Pete Alonso has been a popular suggestion in the weeks leading up to the event and, sure enough, Alonso told Mike Mazzeo of Yahoo Sports that he’s going to be in the event, calling it a “dream come true.” No Mets player has won the Derby since Darryl Strawberry did so in 1986. Alonso has already broken Strawberry’s Mets rookie home run record, so it would sort of be fitting if he won. 

Brewers outfielder and reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich will take part in the Home Run Derby, he told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I thought it would be something that would be fun. I grew up watching it on TV. I feel like now is as good a time as any. We’ll see how it goes,” he said. Fox Sports Wisconsin cameras caught Yelich talking to other players about being invited to the Home Run Derby before he confirmed he will participate.

Josh Bell, the breakout power-hitting first baseman, will participate in the Home Run Derby, the Pirates have announced. A few weeks ago Pirates assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz indicated an unnamed Pirates player — presumably Bell — would take part in the Home Run Derby in a since deleted tweet. Bell is the first Pirate in the Home Run Derby since Pedro Alvarez in 2013.

Ronald Acuna, the Braves second-year slugging outfielder, will be part of the 2019 contest. Acuna, 21, had 19 homers through 83 games in 2019 after clubbing 26 during his Rookie of the Year campaign last year.

The remaining two Home Run Derby spots are TBA. Here is the latest on other Home Run Derby hopefuls.

2019 Home Run Derby rumor

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