No. 5 seed Ram?rez draws Soto in HR Derby

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The 2022 T-Mobile Home Run Derby will take place at Dodger Stadium on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. So, who will be swinging for the fences in Los Angeles? Rangers shortstop Corey Seager — announced as an All-Star replacement earlier Thursday — was named the final entrant of the eight-player field during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby Bracket Show on ESPN Thursday night.

Here is a list of all the sluggers set to swing for the fences in Monday’s Derby:

No. 1 seed: Kyle Schwarber, PhilliesSchwarber, who entered Thursday leading the National League with 28 homers, will be making his second Derby appearance. He memorably made it to the finals of the 2018 event while with the Cubs, clubbing 55 homers on the night while beating the Astros’ Alex Bregman and future Phillies teammate Rhys Hoskins before falling to another future teammate, Bryce Harper, at Nationals Park.

No. 8 seed: Albert Pujols, CardinalsAfter a seven-year hiatus, the 42-year-old Pujols will return to the Home Run Derby stage in his final Major League season. It’s Pujols’ fifth appearance, which puts him on an elite list of only six others who have competed in the event at least that many times (Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Prince Fielder, Barry Bonds and David Ortiz). With 684 home runs to his name, the fifth-most all time, Pujols may just take the young sluggers to school in Los Angeles.

No. 2 seed: Pete Alonso, New York MetsThe Polar Bear has won the past two Derby titles, making him just the third player ever to go back-to-back. Now he will have his sights set on a third Derby win, which would match Ken Griffey Jr. for the most by any player. Alonso has bashed 131 homers in his two Derby appearances and set a single-round record in 2021, when he went deep 35 times in his first-round matchup against Salvador Perez.

No. 7 seed: Ronald Acu?a Jr., Atlanta BravesAcu?a is making his second trip to the Derby; he was ousted by Alonso in the second round in 2019. The Braves star still made a strong impression, utilizing the entire field to crack 44 homers. Ten of his home runs traveled at least 450 feet and he topped out at 469. He leads the Majors in average home run distance this year and is clearly comfortable on the Derby stage as he has shown he can multi-task while hitting massive dingers.

No. 3 seed: Corey Seager, RangersThe Rangers’ All-Star shortstop will be making his second Derby appearance. Seager took part in the contest in 2016, his rookie season. The 28-year-old returns to the park he called home for seven seasons before departing for Texas: Dodger Stadium. Despite a slow start, Seager is well on his way to setting a career high in home runs this season. He already has 21 (career high: 26), including six in July.

No. 6 seed: Julio Rodr?guez, MarinersRodr?guez has been ready for the Derby ever since he hit his first home run in the Majors, a 450-foot clout off Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara on May 1. The AL Rookie of the Month for June, Rodr?guez is the first rookie to take part in the Derby since Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. participated — and reached the finals — in 2019. Alonso and Aaron Judge are the only rookies to win the competition outright, while Wally Joyner was a rookie co-champ with Darryl Strawberry in 1986. As the 14th rookie in history to participate in the event, J-Rod’s electric personality and thunderous bat are perfect for this showcase event.

No. 4 seed: Juan Soto, NationalsSoto makes his second straight Derby appearance after putting on a show in his debut last year. Though he entered an underdog as the No. 8 seed in 2021, Soto unseated No. 1 seed Shohei Ohtani in an epic battle that took a swing-off to decide. The Nationals slugger is sure to once again flash his prodigious power, though whether or not he will top his record-setting 520-foot shot from the Colorado event last year remains to be seen.

No. 5 seed: Jos? Ram?rez, GuardiansCleveland’s slugging star Ram?rez will be making his Derby debut, after turning down the opportunity a few times previously. He is coming off a 2021 season in which he launched 36 homers, the second most in his career, and he already has 17 this year. A candidate for AL MVP through the first half of 2022, J-Ram leads the AL in RBIs with 68 and injects some more star power into this stacked Derby field.

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