July 22, 2024

Home Run Derby rules change to slow event’s pace for hitters

The Home Run Derby will look different this year after Major League Baseball announced a new format Sunday to change the event’s pace for hitters.

Hitters will see a maximum of 40 pitches in the first and second rounds, which will last three minutes each. The pitch count reduces exhaustion for batters that they have worried about in past derbys. It will also reduce the risk of injuries that players worry about when deciding whether to participate since the derby is at an accelerated pace compared to regular batting practice.

The derby moved to a timed format in 2015.

This year, all eight participants will compete against each other in the first round, with the top four advancing. If there’s a tie in the first round, the player with the longest home run wins.

The semifinals will switch to bracket play, and the top two batters will advance to the final round, which will last two minutes and feature 27 pitches.

The 2024 Home Run Derby will be held on July 15 at the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson committed to the derby Sunday and is the first player to announce his participation.

The Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won the 2023 derby after hitting 25 homers in the final round to beat the Tampa Bay Rays’ Randy Arozarena, who had 23.

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(Photo: Joe Nicholson / USA Today)