Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. committed to compete in the Home Run Derby on Wednesday, and a few hours later, he was unveiled as the No. 1 seed.
Robert, who has a career-best 25 homers, will be the surprise favorite on July 10 when the popular derby is held in Seattle, one day prior to the All-Star Game. Two-time champion Pete Alonso (25 HRs) of the New York Mets is the No. 2 seed.
Texas outfielder Adolis Garcia also committed on Wednesday. He has 21 homers and earned the No. 4 seed.
The other competitors are Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays, Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays, Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners and Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles.
Robert will face the eighth-seeded Rutschman (11 homers) in the first round. Robert never hit more than 13 homers over his first three seasons before breaking out this season.
The winner between Robert and Rutschman faces either Garcia or No. 5 seed Arozarena (16 HRs) in the second round.
Alonso is on the other side of the bracket and will face No. 7 seed Rodriguez (13 HRs) in the latter’s home ballpark. The two battled in the semifinals of the 2022 derby at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Rodriguez prevailed 31-23.
Juan Soto, then of the Washington Nationals, defeated Rodriguez 19-18 in the championship round.
Either Alonso or Rodriguez will face the winner between the third-seeded Betts and No. 6 Guerrero.
Betts has gone deep 23 times this season, while Guerrero has 13 home runs.
In 2019, Guerrero lost in the finals to Alonso, 23-22, in Cleveland.
American League homers leader Shohei Ohtani (31) of the Los Angeles Angels and National League leader Matt Olson (28) of the Atlanta Braves are not part of the competition.
–Field Level Media
Original source here
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