The greatest power bats in baseball were on full display Monday night in Denver, but Pete Alonso managed to steal the show yet again as he claimed his second consecutive Home Run Derby title. Way back in 2019, Alonso won in Cleveland and appeared well-prepared to defend his title at Coors Field. The lumbering slugger peppered balls into the seats all night, but set the tone early by blasting 35 homers in the first round.
Shohei Ohtani entered as the odds-on favorite, but struggled to lift the ball and find consistent launch angle. He did manage to force a swing-off against Juan Soto, but was unable to advance. Ohtani failed to deliver on the lofty expectations that were placed on him for the event, but his talents will certainly be on full display Tuesday night during the All-Star Game. Soto actually blasted the longest homer of the night and set a Derby record with a 520-foot homer.
Trey Mancini was probably the least-heralded entrant in the Derby, but his story is certainly the best. He overcame cancer a year ago and has enjoyed an excellent season for Orioles, then put on quite a show during the Derby. He beat Matt Olson, then hometown representative Trevor Story, before squaring off with Alonso in the finals. Mancini blasted 22 homers in the final round, but Alonso caught fire and completed his title defense with over 30 seconds to spare.
The Braves took two-way Nebraska product Spencer Schwellenbach in the second round, announcing him as a right-handed pitcher, which could indicate that they intend to have him focus on pitching at the next level.
Matt Powers provides a full rundown of Draft Day Two for the Braves, who made some intriguing selections.
Charlie Freeman loves Fernando Tatis and got a chance to meet the Padres star on Monday, stealing a hug and spending some time with one of the best players in baseball. Nando is impossible to root against for a multitude of reasons, but genuinely seems like one of the coolest people in the sport.
All the info you need ahead of the ASG on Tuesday.
MLB supporting a cause.
Ohtani is a superstar among superstars.