Charlie Blackmon may not have the national home run mojo and highlight reel devotion that rookie phenoms Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger have generated this season, but the Colorado Rockies leadoff hitter is more than happy to square off against them and more in the upcoming 2017 T-Mobile Home Run Derby.
The annual home run derby, a part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game weekend, will be held on Monday, July 10 at Marlins Park in Miami, and broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 6 p.m. (Mountain time).
Blackmon belted his 18th home run of the season just moments after it was announced that he was joining the field. Blackmon went 1-for-3 and stole a base in Colorado’s 5-3 win over Cincinnati on Monday night at Coors Field.
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The home run derby field includes defending champion Giancarlo Stanton (who will be hitting in his home park), Judge, Bellinger, Miami’s Justin Bour, Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas, Minnesota’s Miguel Sano, Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees and Blackmon. Contestants will be seeded as part of the derby’s single-elimination bracket. Seedings will be announced soon, but we’re going to predict the bracket now.
Predicting the Home Run Derby bracket
Note: All home run figures as of Tuesday morning.
1 seed – Stanton. He’s the home run derby defending champion and batting at home. Also has the most career homers of any participant. Fourth-highest number of homers this season (21).
2 seed – Judge. He leads the field in homers (27). It would also set up a potential Judge-Stanton finals.
3 seed – Bellinger. The second-highest number of homers in the field (24). A Judge-Bellinger semifinal would be delicious for Major League Baseball executives and ESPN viewership.
4 seed – Moustakas. The third-highest number of homers (22) and second-highest number of career homers.
5 seed – Sano. Fifth-highest number of homers this season (20).
6 seed – Bour. Tied for sixth-highest number of homers this season (18).
7 seed – Blackmon. Tied for sixth-highest number of homers this season (18).
Note: Bour gets the higher seed since he will be batting at home.
8 seed – Sanchez. The lowest number of homers this season of any participant (13).
That would mean a first round of Stanton-Sanchez, Judge-Blackmon, Bellinger-Bour and Moustakas-Sano. All very interesting matchups in their own right.
Blackmon joins previous Colorado entrants Dante Bichette (1994), Ellis Burks (1996), Larry Walker (1997, 1999), Vinny Castilla (1998), Todd Helton (2001), Matt Holliday (2008), teammate Carlos Gonzalez (2012, 2016), Michael Cuddyer (2013), Troy Tulowtizki (2014) and Justin Morneau (2014).
"“I was taken by surprise. There are a lot of guys who I would have expected to get picked before me,” Blackmon told Rox Pile and other reporters after the Monday night win. “Maybe they were all I asked and decided not to do it. That’s OK with me. I’m excited for the opportunity.“I may not be the most obvious of choices to put in there but I’m glad to be there nonetheless.”"
After the game, Chuck Nazty said he had already received a congratulatory text from Morneau on making the All-Star Game. Now there is more discussion to be had.
"“He was one of the guys I wanted to talk to,” Blackmon said. “I texted him and asked if he had any advice for me. He just replied, ‘Win it.’” I guess I’m going to try and win it.”"