In a few days, the 2019 Home Run Derby will be held at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. Set for Monday, 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 were officially announced on Wednesday. We’ve updated the field below to reflect the official one.

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. 

Chapman was a late replacement in the field, taking the spot of Christian Yelich, who pulled out of the event due to back trouble. An All-Star for the first time in 2019, Chapman has built on a breakout 2018 season with a fine first half. He has 21 homers and a 137 OPS+ at the break.

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.

Pederson and Bregman were officially added to the field on Wednesday. The first-round matchups will go like this:

  • Chapman (1) versus Guerrero (8);
  • Bregman (4) versus Pederson (5);
  • Bell (3) versus Acuna (6)
  • Alonso (2) versus Santana (7)
2019 Home Run Derby rumor