Pete Alonso of the New York Mets took the two-time championship in the return from the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game after a year without either event is exciting enough. Add in that this season’s Home Run Derby was held on air from Denver’s Coors Field with long connection specialists including Shohei Ohtani, Joey Gallo and Pete Alonso, standing out on the field and, well, tonight will be a lot of fun. .
To celebrate the Midsummer festivities, we asked ESPN MLB experts Alden Gonzalez, Buster Olney, Jeff Passan, Jesse Rogers and David Schoenfield to forecast everything from who will hit the longest home run of the entire derby to who it will provide the moment we will all be talking about on Monday night which team will be victorious at the Midsummer Classic and which matchup they want to see more of.
Check out our predictions and results from Monday night’s fun during the Home Run Derby and our biggest takeaways after a home run king was crowned in Denver.
Home Run Derby bracket
(1) Shohei Ohtani vs. (8) Juan Soto
(4) Salvador Pérez vs. (5) Pete Alonso
(2) Joey Gallo vs. (7) Trevor Story
(3) Matt Olson vs. (6) Trey Mancini
Who will win the Home Run Derby?
Pass: Ohtani. It’s my fault.
Schoenfield: Do you want me to bet against Ohtani? No way.
Olney: Alonso. He won in 2019 even though his cousin was very, very nervous and struggling to throw strikes. Now he has bench coach Dave Jauss pitching for him, and he can be seen on an incredible streak.
Rogers: Rooster. He finished the first half with 11 home runs in his last 12 games. He will take that to the derby.
Gonzalez: I’m going to go against the grain here and choose Trevor Story. He knows this park well, obviously, and has actually averaged more home run distance than Ohtani. (Yeah, with 21 fewer home runs. And he plays half his games at Coors Field. But come on, work with me here.) More specifically, it would be a cool moment for a Colorado Rockies fanbase that is still mourning the departure of Nolan Arenado and will soon be doing the same for Story.
The Angels player has become a triple threat in the parks since his emergence in the Japanese ball.
Who will hit the longest home run and how long will it be?
Pass: Joey Gallo, 533 pies.
Schoenfield: While Ohtani has certainly hit a few tape measure hits this season, I’m going with Gallo too. He hit a 495-foot home run, the longest of his career in 2018, and since 2017 he and Giancarlo Stanton are tied with 16 home runs of at least 450 feet. Now, keep in mind the altitude of Coors Field and I’m going with a 529 foot connection.
Olney: Ohtani. A hit to the moon; I’ll say 586 feet, in honor of Frank Robinson, who hit so many home runs in his career.
Gonzalez: This is Ohtani, without a doubt. Mike Trout thinks he could “leave the stadium,” which sounds impossible given how far and how high the roof of Coors Field is in right field. But this is Ohtani … at Coors Field … without the humidor … hitting baseballs that will probably be too tight. I’ll go with 515 feet.
Rogers: Ohtani will hit the Rocky Mountains one early in the contest. It will reach 509 feet.
What moment will we all talk about long after this Home Run Derby is over?
Olney: Something that Ohtani does, whether he wins, loses, or ruins the top floor at Coors Field.
Pass: Ohtani is going to have a round for all ages. While the Derby format could mean that he doesn’t win everything, in 2021 he will do what Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did in 2019.
Schoenfield: Ohtani beats Alonso 23-22 in the second round, including a stretch of five consecutive 450-foot home runs that drives Coors Field crazy.
Gonzalez: I think Ohtani will be the story here, but I also think Gallo will get hot and put together an epic round at some point. Gallo wouldn’t face Ohtani until the final, and it would be a really fun matchup.
Rogers: I agree with Jeff. At first, Ohtani will shoot and land like 10 pitches in a row. We may not see it in the final, but we will talk about that first round.