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Vlad Guerrero Jr. outlasts Randy Arozarena to win historic 2023 Home Run Derby

The 2019 runner-up finally sealed the deal in Seattle on Monday night, following his father’s footsteps 16 years later.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at T-Mobile Park on July 10, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Baseballs beware, because it’s time for the 2023 Home Run Derby. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET from T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, the second time the park will host the event and the first since 2001. The bracket is officially set, and it’s loaded with stars, from Pete Alonso looking to join Ken Griffey Jr. as the only men to win three Derbies to 2019 Derby star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to 2022 finalist (and hometown hero) Julio Rodriguez. Mookie Betts, Luis Robert Jr., Adolis Garcia, Randy Arozarena and Adley Rutschman round out the rest of the field.

We’ll be keeping this post updated with the latest results and highlights all night long, so make sure to keep it locked.

Format

In case you’re in need of a refresher: As has been the case since 2015, the Derby will be a single-elimination tournament featuring eight hitters and a total of three rounds. The lower seed in a given matchup will hit first, while the higher seed gets the advantage of last licks.

In the first two rounds, each batter gets three minutes to hit as many homers as possible, with the clock starting at the release of the first pitch. Every home run will count as long as the ball left the pitcher’s hand before the timer hits zero. Hitters will also get an added 30 seconds of bonus time at the conclusion of the first three minutes, and they can earn an additional 30 seconds — for a total of 60 extra seconds — if they hit two homers that travel at least 440 feet. Each batter can also take one 45-second timeout per round. (One more quick note: As soon as the second player in a given round exceeds the home run total of his opponent, the round ends, so there’s no need for running up the score.)

Any matchup that results in a tie will move immediately to a 60-second swing-off, without the added benefit of timeouts of additional time — regardless of how far you’re hitting the ball. If that still doesn’t settle things, the two batters will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until a winner is decided.

The final round will feature two minutes on the clock rather than three, with all other rules remaining the same.

First-round matchups

No. 1 Luis Robert Jr. (CHW) - 28 vs. No. 8 Adley Rutschman (BAL) - 27

No. 4 Adolis Garcia (TEX) - 17 vs. No. 5 Randy Arozarena (TB) - 24

No. 2 Pete Alonso (NYM) - 21 vs. No. 7 Julio Rodriguez (SEA) - 41

No. 3 Mookie Betts (LAD) - 11 vs. No. 6 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) - 26

Second-round matchups

No. 1 Luis Robert Jr. (CHW) - 22 vs. No. 5 Randy Arozarena (TB) - 35

No. 6 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) - 21 vs. No. 7 Julio Rodriguez (SEA) - 20

Final round matchup

No. 5 Randy Arozarena (TB) - 23 vs. No. 6 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) - 25

2023 Home Run Derby live updates

Final round

Arozarena final round: If he had any hope of capturing his first Derby crown, Arozarena knew he was going to need a little boost — so he brought his cowboy boots to the edge of the batting circle for good luck:

Maybe he needed to actually wear the boots, though, because the Rays star fell just short. Arozarena ended the regulation period with 21 homers, needing four to tie and five to win with 30 seconds of bonus time remaining, but alas, it wasn’t to be. He managed just three in the extra period, with several frantic swings in the final seconds falling short, and Vlad Guerrero Jr. is your 2023 Home Run Derby champion. His reward? The trophy, obviously, but also incredible chain courtesy of Seahawks legend Marshawn Lynch:

Guerrero Jr. final round: Every time it looked like Guerrero Jr. was ready to go on one of his patented Derby runs tonight, he’s cooled off a bit. The Blue Jays star hasn’t been as exceptional as we’ve seen him in the past, but he’s been solid throughout, and his 25 homers in the final will set a reasonable bar for Arozarena to have to clear.

Second round

Guerrero Jr. second round: The record-holder is going home. Guerrero Jr. got out to a solid start, getting to 10 by the 1:37 mark, and was clearly conserving some energy from there. He slowly crept his way towards the 21 he needed, waiting until his final swing of regulation to finally tie things up at 20. He needed just one over 60 seconds of bonus time, and he didn’t make us wait very long before punching his ticket to the final.

Rodriguez second round: After going off for 41 in the first round, Rodriguez understandably looked a little gassed in the semis, putting up just 18 homers over his regulation period amid a lot of lazy fly balls. The crowd attempted to give him a boost heading into the extra :30, but to no avail, as Rodriguez limped to just two in the bonus period to end with 20 — he’s in real danger with Guerrero Jr. on a roll.

Robert Jr. second round: And down goes No. 1. It was a very impressive overall showing from Robert Jr., who showcased some of the easiest power of anyone in the Derby, but in the end Arozarena’s hot streak was too much to overcome. The White Sox star wound up with 22 homers in the second round, and Arozarena is on to the finals — where he’ll meet either Guerrero Jr. or Rodriguez.

Arozarena second round: For a minute there it looked like we were about to have back-to-back record-breaking rounds, as Arozarena caught fire for a whopping 30 over his regulation time. He cooled off a bit in the extra period, settling for 35 total, but that’s still going to be a tough score to beat for Robert Jr.

First round

Alonso first round: It’s really a shame that this was a first-round matchup. Alonso’s one of the greatest performers in Derby history, a two-time champion, and yet he’s going home already after falling well short of J-Rod’s historic effort. The Mets first baseman gave it a pretty good run, and had some truly prodigious shots, but in the end this one felt over after the first minute or so. Alonso ended with 21 homers, and Rodriguez is moving on.

Rodriguez first round: We have a new single-round record! From the very first swing, you could sense how badly Julio wanted to put on a show, and boy did he ever. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year was locked in, churning out moonshot after moonshot without seeming to even break a sweat — while T-Mobile Park lost its mind:

By the time his first three minutes were up, he was already at 31 — putting the single-round record of 40, set by Guerrero Jr. himself back in 2019, very much in play. And sure enough, Rodriguez did it, putting up nine more in his bonus minute to make Derby history:

Even KD was impressed:

Betts first round: Well, he tried to warn us. Betts told reporters a few days ago that participating in the Derby was very much not his idea, and the Dodgers superstar fell flat in his first round, ending with just 11 homers — and at least 15 doubles into the left-center gap. J.D. Martinez tried to give his teammate a few pointers, but to no avail:

Guerrero Jr. first round: Vladito swings so hard in these things that he winds up tiring himself out by the end of the round. The 2019 runner-up got off to a hot start in his first-round matchup against Mookie Betts, but he flagged down the stretch, ending his regulation time with just 17 homers. Once he grabbed a quick breather, though, Guerrero Jr. was right back at it, smashing nine in his bonus time to end up with a respectable 26. The ball is now in Mookie’s court.

Robert Jr. first round: Well, the top seed has laid down the gauntlet. Rutschman’s display got everybody on their feet ... and then the White Sox outfielder matched him in regulation time. These were bombs, too: Robert Jr. hit the requisite two 440+-footers within his first 90 seconds, peppering everywhere from left to dead center. It didn’t take him long in the extra time to walk it off with homer No. 28.

Rutschman first round: Ladies and gentlemen, the Derby is officially off and running. Rutschman — the No. 8 seed and heavy betting underdog — put on a show in his first-ever Derby round, crushing 11 in his final 79 seconds to sit at 21 at the end of regulation. And then he really showed off: The switch-hitting catcher flipped sides of the plate for his bonus minute and went on a tear, hitting seven more to end up at 27 for the round.

Garcia first round: Arozarena’s 24 were more than enough to beat out his former Cardinals teammate, as Garcia never got out of neutral in his first taste of the Derby. The Rangers slugger hit a cold spell down the stretch, hitting just seven homers in the final 1:30 to finish regulation time at 16. He added just one more in his extra 30 seconds for a total of 17. Arozarena will move on to face the winner of the Luis Robert Jr.-Adley Rutschman matchup.

Arozarena first round: First thing’s first: Incredible cowboy boots.

A bit of a slow start for the Rays outfielder — it’s never easy being the first guy up — but he eventually found a rhythm, racking up 10 homers before taking his timeout halfway through the round. Arozarena would end his initial three minutes at 19, tacking on five more in his additional 30 seconds for a total of 24.