Blue Jays Vlad Guerrero Jr. finishes second in exhilarating Home Run Derby

hgodfrey
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 08: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Progressive Field on July 08, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - JULY 08: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Progressive Field on July 08, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the youngest player to ever participate in a Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, had a night to remember.

Though the night will likely be remembered for a legendary performance by the Blue Jays’ top prospect, the winner of the Home Run Derby in Cleveland was not, in fact, the one who hit the most home runs, but rather, the one who hit the most timely home runs.

It is, nevertheless, impossible to doubt the prowess and theatrical skill that Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the youngest player to ever participate in a Home Run Derby, displayed on a thrilling evening of baseball delirium.

Here’s a look at Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s record-breaking performance at the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby:

First Round

After waltzing humbly to the plate to face off against Oakland Athletics slugger Matt Chapman, Guerrero Jr. shattered all expectations, launching 29 majestic home runs, including a towering 476-foot drive into the left-field bleachers at Progressive Field, to take the first round.

After hitting balls a cumulative total of 2.3 miles, according to Baseball Savant, Guerrero Jr. easily edged out Chapman (longest: 477 ft.; total: 1.1 miles) to advance to the second round. Notably, this 29 homer performance broke the record for the most home runs hit in a single round at a Home Run Derby.

More from Jays Journal

Second Round

Confident and exuberant, Guerrero Jr. managed to duplicate his stunning first-round performance with a 29 homer semifinal. However, Guerrero Jr’s worthy adversary, Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers, kept pace the entire time, forcing three epic tiebreakers.

When things were all said and done, Guerrero Jr. barely triumphed, launching 40 homers overall to barely edge out the exhausted Pederson. Guerrero’s longest blast was 488 feet, while Pederson’s was 450 feet.

As Daren Willman of Baseball Savant hilariously points out, Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s 69 combined home runs hit in the first two rounds of the 2019 Home Run Derby are more than the entire Miami Marlins have hit all season. As a group, the Marlins have tallied 2995 at-bats this season.

Final

Cleary tired and, at times, completely out of breath, Guerrero still managed to put up a fantastic 22 home runs in the final, beating Giancarlo Stanton‘s previously set record of 20 for a Home Run Derby final. With that, Guerrero broke the records for home runs hit in each individual round of the derby, and also holds the record for the most amount of total bombs hit in a derby by a single player.

Still, it wasn’t enough to beat New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso, who marched into the finals and was able to beat out Vlad in one of the most stunningly exciting home run derbies in baseball history.

Next. Blue Jays: Twins, Yankees interested in Stroman, Giles package. dark

On Guerrero’s performance, champion Pete Alonso said the following (via Jayson Stark of The Athletic):

"“Oh my God. He was so fun to watch. I’m glad I didn’t face him in the earlier rounds. Or he probably would have knocked me out”"

facebooktwitterreddit