The Los Angeles Dodgers will have a participant in the Home Run Derby for a fifth consecutive year, as Max Muncy was officially among the eight players named to the annual event. Like Cody Bellinger last year, Muncy heads into the contest ranked the No. 3 seed.
Brackets in the first round were seeded based on 2018 home run totals through Tuesday’s games. Ties were broken by awarding the higher seed to the player who reached his current home run total first.
Muncy, who leads the Dodgers with 21 home runs, drew Javier Baez (17 home runs) in the first round. No. 1 seed Jesús Aguilar (23) of the Milwaukee Brewers, who defeated Muncy in the Final Vote for the National League All-Star team, faces Philadelphia Phillies outfielder and No. 8 seed Rhys Hoskins (14) in the first round.
Washington Nationals outfielder and hometown hero Bryce Harper (22) earned the second seed and will compete against Freddie Freeman (16) of the Atlanta Braves. The final first-round matchup pits Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman (19) against Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber (17).
A notable omission from this year’s showcase is defending champion Aaron Judge. The New York Yankees slugger eliminated Bellinger in the semifinals last year.
Of the eight participants in 2018, Muncy is easily the most surprising. He began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City before joining the Dodgers in mid-April and cementing himself in the lineup from that point forward.
Each of the eight hitters will have five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. Winners of the first round matchups will advance to the semifinals, and then the two semifinal winners will meet in the final round.
Hitters can earn a 30-second bonus for two home runs hit over 440 feet. A 45-second timeout is allowed for each player in every round.
The 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby will be held at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com, beginning at 5 p.m. PT.
In addition to coverage on ESPN and MLB.com, the Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN Deportes and the ESPN App. ESPN2 will simulcast the event in Spanish via ESPN Deportes’ live coverage. The Home Run Derby will also air on ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio.
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