MLB Home Run Derby History and Winners: Full List

Have any Blue Jays players ever won the MLB Home Run Derby?

T-Mobile Home Run Derby, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
T-Mobile Home Run Derby, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Blue Jays Participation in the Home Run Derby

In the 38 years of its existence, the Toronto Blue Jays have sent representatives to participate in the derby for a total of 16 times. Those included Jesse Barfield, George Bell, World Series hero Joe Carter (thrice), Shawn Green, Carlos Delgado (twice), Troy Glaus, Alex Ríos, Vernon Wells, José “Joey Bats” Bautista (thrice), Josh Donaldson, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

For the majority of the time, they failed to make a huge impact in the event, so basically they were there more for the fun and exciting experience. However, three Blue Jays did manage come close to capturing the title on three separate occasions.

In 2007, Ríos put up a strong fight against Vladdy’s dad, Vladimir Guerrero Sr., but just fell short 3-2 in the finals. Ríos actually hit the most cumulative home runs with 19 (to Guerrero Sr.’s 17), but because totals didn’t carry over into the finals, unfortunately, he had to settle for second.

In 2012, with Joey Bats in his prime, he was determined to win the home run crown to show everyone what he was made of. He hit the most home runs during the first round with 11, but struggled in the second round to barely make the final as he had to defeat Mark Trumbo in a swing-off to get there. There, he ran into a red-hot Fielder, who pulled away with a 12-7 victory.

In 2019, this became the home run derby for the ages, as it marked the emergence of Guerrero Jr., along with him being the closest Jay to ever win the title. The highlight of the event, surprisingly, did not occur in the finals, but in the semifinals matchup between Guerrero Jr. and Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The two bashers were engaged in a slugfest, with each one matching the other swing for swing, forcing the round to go into three swing-offs to ultimately determine who advances to the finals. In the end, Guerrero Jr. outlasted Pederson 40-39 to narrowly squeak into the final. But as everyone could have imagined, he was totally exhausted and out of gas by then. He still managed to put up a good fight, but eventually fell 23-22 to Alonso. Nevertheless, Guerrero Jr. entered the history books, setting the all-time home run totals record for the Home Run Derby with 91, telling the world Vladdy time has arrived.

Fast forward now to 2023, Guerrero will be making his triumphant return to the Home Run Derby this year after a three-year hiatus, with his sole focus on capturing the title that had once eluded him. With his recent hot streak at the plate for the Jays, this may finally be the year we see the first Blue Jay being crowned the Home Run Derby champion.

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