Blue Jays third baseman and rookie phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be participating in this year’s Home Run Derby. Guerrero, 20, will be the youngest Derby participant in the history of the event. He might just be the most dedicated too.
Before Toronto squared off against the Red Sox on Tuesday (GameTracker), Guerrero took a few practice swings. The Blue Jays even helped Guerrero recreate the same format as the Derby, putting up a timer on the scoreboard. Guerrero’s batting practice pitcher even followed the Derby rule of waiting to throw the next ball until the previous ball lands.
Watch the incredible footage of Guerrero taking his practice swings below:
Safe to say he’s the favorite after this, eh? There were plenty of homers in his practice session. From what we can see in the video, he knocks four out of five balls out to left field.
Guerrero’s impressive display of power isn’t anything new to most baseball fans. finishing second place in the 2017 Midwest League Home Run Derby. Guerrero is batting .252/.329/.422 with eight home runs since making his MLB debut on April 26.Plus, there’s the fact that he already has some Derby experience under his belt,
Guerrero’s father, Hall of Famer Vlad Sr., won the 2007 Home Run Derby at what was then called AT&T Park in San Francisco. Vlad Jr. was right by his side during the trophy ceremony.
Indians first baseman Carlos Santana, Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso, Pirates first baseman Josh Bell, Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich and Braves center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. will also compete in the Home Run Derby. Entering Tuesday, Yelich leads the league with 30 home runs on the season.
We’re still waiting to find out who will take the remaining two Home Run Derby spots.
The full eight-player field and bracket will be revealed on Wednesday on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET. The Derby will take place on Monday, July 8 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The 2019 Home Run Derby winner will take home a $1 million prize.