The 2015 Home Run Derby is scheduled for Monday night at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, and it will have a different feel than any of the competitions in recent seasons. Eight contestants are in the field, and they will try to win the title by competing in a new format.
The Derby had previously been decided by giving hitters the chance to hit the most amount of home runs possible before getting 10 outs. Instead of their time at the plate being determined by how many balls don’t make it over the wall, the 2015 participants will be given as many swings as possible in five minutes.
A clock will begin when the first pitch of each player’s at-bat is released. The clock will only stop if the player hits a home run in the final minute, and it won’t begin until that player fails to hit another home run.
Extra time will be added to the clock if a batter hits the ball far enough. Two home runs that travel at least 420 feet are worth an extra minute, and a 475-foot dinger will give a player an additional 30 seconds in their round.
Joc Pederson might benefit the most from the extra-time stipulation. He’s hit the third-longest home run in MLB this year, launching a ball 480 feet on June 2, and his average home-run distance of 430.5 feet leads all hitters in baseball. Giancarlo Stanton has hit three home runs at least 475 feet, but he isn’t in the competition.
The eight players will be seeded No.1-No.8, and there will be three rounds of head-to-head matchups. Much like the NCAA Tournament, it’s survive and advance, with one loss eliminating a player from the competition.
Prince Fielder is the only contestant to have ever won the competition, and Albert Pujols will be making his fourth appearance in a Home Run Derby, though it’ll be his first since 2009. Todd Frazier is back after finishing in second place to Yoenis Cespedes in 2014, and Josh Donaldson is the only other player that will compete in 2014 and 2015.
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Online Stream: WatchESPN