New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso becomes first Florida player to win MLB Home Run Derby

By Adam Silverstein
July 8, 2019
New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso becomes first Florida player to win MLB Home Run Derby
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Image Credit: ESPN Images

Monday night was an exciting one for a Home Run Derby event that has become rather stale as of late. The MLB decided to show off its young talent in its annual All-Star week event, and New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso earned the 2019 Home Run Derby crown by beating Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays in the final.

Alonso became the first former Florida Gators baseball player to win the derby and just the third rookie ever to take home the crown. Though Alonso (57) did not hit the most homers on Monday, he drilled them when it counted to take home the $1 million prize, the largest in derby history.

Despite Alonso’s heroics, it was Guerrero who stole the show with a derby-record 91 dingers and a single-round record of 29 homers … which he accomplished in both the first and second rounds. Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers matched Guerrero’s second-round total, forcing a tiebreaker.

Alonso jacked 14 home runs in the first round and 20 in the second before edging Guerrero 23-22 in the finals. He is also having a stellar rookie season with the Mets for whom he is batting .280 with 30 home runs and 68 RBI through 89 games. For his heroics on Monday, Alonso will basically triple his annual salary, adding the $1 million purse atop his $550,000 deal for the 2019 season.

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