MLB: Pete Alonso to enter home circuit contest

NEW YORK – New York Mets power hitter Pete Alonso will try to defend his title in the home run contest at Coors Field on July 12.

Alonso confirmed his participation on Instagram on Wednesday.

At this point, the only other player who has confirmed his presence at the ‘derby’ is Japan’s Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels.

The homerun contest will take place the day before the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Alonso has slammed 11 home runs this season.

He set a rookie record with 53 home runs during the 2019 season.

That year, he won the home run competition at Progressive Field, winning 23-22 in the final ahead of Vladimir Guerrero of the Blue Jays.

Ohtani and Guerrero share the top spot in the big leagues with 23 homers each this season, heading into Wednesday night’s games.

Guerrero will not be in the competition, wanting to give himself a break.

« Physically I feel good, » Guerrero said via an interpreter before his family’s game in Miami on Wednesday. There is still a long way to go (this season). It’s all right – I just want it to stay that way. « 

Guerrero consulted with his father Vladimir, a former Expos star, before deciding not to enter the circuit contest.

The Jays slugger will be there anyway, but as a spectator.

“I’ll have my camera and I’ll record everything,” Guerrero said. I’m going to savor the moment and cheer on the guys. « 

The home run competition and the All-Star game were canceled last season due to the pandemic.

The start of the campaign had been postponed until the end of July.

Only two players have successfully defended their title in the circuit competition.

Ken Griffey of the Mariners made it at Fenway Park in 1999, after dominating at Coors Field in 1998.

A’s Yoenis Cespedes pulled it off at Target Field in 2014, after ruling at Citi Field in 2013.

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