2024 MLB Home Run Derby field: Two-time champ Pete Alonso joins Phillies' Alec Bohm, Orioles' Gunnar Henderson


The 2024 Home Run Derby is fast approaching and baseball’s midsummer power spectacle will have a new format this season on top of a great collection of talent. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won the Home Run Derby in Seattle’s T-Mobile Park last year. Here is everything you need to know about this year’s Home Run Derby in Arlington, Texas, including who’s in, who’s out and who’s on the fence waiting for the call. 

How to watch

  • Date: Monday, July 15 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: Globe Life Field (Arlington, Texas)
  • TV: ESPN | Live stream: fubo (try for free)

New format

The Home Run Derby has gone through many formats over the years and there will be a new one in effect in 2024. Gone are head-to-head matchups in the first round. Instead, all eight participants will compete against each other in the first round, and four will advance. Here’s how the new format works:

First round: All eight players get three minutes or 40 pitches, whichever comes first, plus one timeout. The four leading home run hitters advance. Ties are broken using the longest home run distance. After the initial three minutes or 40 pitches, each player gets three bonus outs, where they continue hitting until three outs are recorded. Hitters can earn a fourth bonus out with a 425-foot homer in bonus time. This gives anyone who is trailing a chance to catch up because they can continue hitting homers in bonus time until they run out of outs.

Semifinals: The four remaining players are seeded 1-4 using first round home run totals, then it’s 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 in head-to-head matchups. It’s again three minutes or 40 pitches with one timeout. The same bonus time rules apply.

Finals: The final two players now have two minutes or 27 pitches with one timeout, and the same bonus time rules. The player with the most homers wins.

In recent years, the eight players were seeded 1-8 using regular-season home run totals, then there were head-to-head matchups and a single-elimination tournament to decide the Home Run Derby. There was a time limit (three minutes in the first and second round, two minutes in the finals) but no pitch limit. Last year, no player saw fewer than 43 pitches in a round, so the new 40-pitch limit will speed things up and put a premium on efficiency (i.e. home runs per pitch).

Committed

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On June 30, Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson became the first player to commit to the 2024 Home Run Derby. The 23-year-old wunderkind is on pace to become the second 50-homer shortstop in baseball history, joining Alex Rodriguez (52 in 2001 and 57 in 2002). This will be Henderson’s first Home Run Derby appearance. Two O’s have won the Home Run Derby previously: Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. (1991) and Miguel Tejada (2004).

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Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Alex Bohm on July 5 became the second batsman and first National League entrant to commit to the Derby. This season, Bohm, 27, at this writing leads the NL in RBI and the majors in doubles. He’s on pace to come in at around 20 homers for the season. That’s not a particularly lofty total for a Derby participant, but Bohm does hit the ball fairly hard with a better-than-average rate of fly balls. He’ll try to become the third Phillies player to win the Home Run Derby. Previously, Bobby Abreu won it in 2005 and then Ryan Howard in 2006. 

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New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso became the third entrant to commit to the Derby just hours after being selected to his fourth career All-Star Game. Alonso is as seasoned as a Derby contestant can be, having previously won the 2019 and 2021 competitions. This will be Alonso’s fifth Derby overall. He was eliminated in the first round last summer as part of a head-to-head battle with Mariners star Julio Rodríguez.

Interested

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Dodgers slugger Shohei Ohtani initially said he would like to take his hacks in the Home Run Derby, though he’s since indicated that’s unlikely on account of last September’s elbow surgery. “I’m in the middle of my rehab progression, so it’s not going to look like I’ll be participating,” he said on July 2. Ohtani has participated in the Home Run Derby once before. He was eliminated in a first-round tiebreaker by Juan Soto in 2021.

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Ohtani’s Dodgers teammate, Teoscar Hernández, wants to participate in the Home Run Derby, he told Dodger Talk on July 5. Hernández has never competed previously even though his 147 home runs from 2018-23 were a top-25 mark in baseball. If Ohtani participates, there’s no reason Hernández can’t participate as well. Multiple players from one MLB team have been involved many times over the years.

Not participating

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Despite leading the sport in home runs, Yankees star Aaron Judge will once again pass on the Home Run Derby. He has not participated in it since winning the 2017 event as a rookie. Judge has said he will do the Home Run Derby again when the All-Star Game returns to New York, otherwise it doesn’t sound like something he is eager to do. New York last hosted the All-Star Game in 2013, when it was at Citi Field. The Yankees last hosted the All-Star Game in 2008, the final year of the old Yankee Stadium.

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On July 1, Astros masher Yordan Alvarez said the Home Run Derby is “something I’m not super motivated to do at this moment,” according to The Athletic. Alvarez has slugged 30-plus home runs each of the last three years and he’s on pace to do it again in 2024. He has never participated in the Home Run Derby and no Astros player has ever won it, either. 

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Similar to Judge, his Yankees teammate, Juan Soto will skip the Home Run Derby this season. “No, not this year,” he told Newsday on July 4. Soto won the 2022 Home Run Derby and advanced to the second round in 2021. This is his free agent year, of course, and Soto had a little forearm injury scare last month. He has an awful lot on the line this season. It’s no surprise then that Soto is passing on the Home Run Derby. No need to assume the injury risk.





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