Vladimir Guerrero Jr. put on an absolute show, but in the end, it was New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso who walked away with the 2019 Home Run Derby crown Monday night at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians.
Alonso, a rookie, outslugged Guerrero, another rookie in the final round to walk away with the trophy. Alonso hit 23 home runs to Guerrero’s 22 and became just the second rookie ever to win the event, joining Aaron Judge of the Yankees, who won in 2017.
Alonso’s finally tally on the night was 57 home runs, the third most ever hit in a Derby, and while Guerrero set the record with 91, Alonso beat him when it counted most when the two met in the final round.
“I gave it all I had,” Guerrero said. “I just feel proud of hitting 91 home runs.”
With the home run crown, Alonso became the first Mets player to win the award outright, as Darryl Strawberry shared the title with Wally Joyner back in 1986.
Guerrero Breaks Record
If you like home runs, you came to the right place as Monday night’s Home Run Derby was arguably the best in MLB history thanks to Guerrero’s record-breaking performance.
After setting a record with 29 home runs in the first round, the 6-foot-2, 250-pound third baseman faced off against Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson in what turned out to be the most epic home run derby showdown in MLB history. The two engaged went back and forth in an epic semifinal showdown as Guerrero broke his own record with 40 home runs, outlasting Pederson who fell just short with 39.
They both hit 29 home runs which forced an extra session. They each belted eight home runs in the following round which required a three-swing tiebreaker. That, of course, ended in a tie, too, which forced yet another tiebreaker of which Guerrero finally topped Pederson, 40-39.
“That was elite hitting,” Alonso said. “That was some of the best rounds of BP I’ve ever watched.”
“I was kind of scared that he (Joc) was going to beat me,” Guerrero said afterwards.