With an average contestant age of 25.26 years, the 2019 T-Mobile Home Run Derby featured the youngest field in the event's history, so it's fitting that a rookie slugger took home the $1 million prize. Mets rookie sensation Pete Alonso overcame a mesmerizing performance from Blue Jays phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. -- who hit a single-Derby-record 91 homers -- with 23 homers in the final to claim the crown.
Here's how it all happened:
Final: Pete Alonso, NYM (23) def. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR (22)
GUERRERO: How would Guerrero react after so many swings in Round 2? Well, he had just one dinger after the first 1:32, and five when he took his first timeout with 2:52 remaining. He had eight on the board when he called his second timeout, and then went on a tear, finding his pull swing and racking up an impressive 12 dingers over the final 1:52 of regulation. Clearly winded, Guerrero still mustered two more in bonus time for a final-round total of 22 -- and a simply incredible 91 dingers on the night. That’s 30 more homers than Giancarlo Stanton’s Derby record from three years ago.
TOTAL: 22 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 463 feet (110 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 111 mph (433 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 432.1 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 104.4 mph
ALONSO: Alonso put himself ahead of Guerrero’s pace with eight homers by the time he called his first timeout with 2:47 remaining. He was still hunting for bonus homers, though, not clubbing his first 440-plus footer until he launched a ball 459 feet with 2:36 to go and then finally notching a 458-footer with 1:10 on the clock. Alonso pumped up the crowd during his second timeout with 1:02 to go, and he clubbed his Derby-winning 23rd dinger with 18 seconds still on the clock.
Alonso participated in three rounds, and he walked off in every one of them without needing the bonus time. Guerrero walked away with the single-Derby record, but it was Alonso who got to lift the trophy. He is the second rookie to win this event outright, following fellow New York star Aaron Judge in 2017, and the second Met to take home the title following co-champion Darryl Strawberry in 1986.
TOTAL: 23 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 459 feet (113 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 113 mph (459 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 420.6 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 108.0 mph
Round 2: Pete Alonso, NYM (20) def. Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL (19)
ACUNA: Most of the sluggers in the Derby are pull-happy, but Acuna carried his all-fields approach over to Round 2 and simply hit the ball wherever it was pitched. He racked up nine dingers before calling timeout with 1:42 left and notched his second bonus-time dinger -- a 469-footer -- with 1:23 left to go. Acuna carried 18 homers into his extra 30 seconds and then added one more to finish with a solid 19.
TOTAL: 19 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 469 feet (110 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 111 mph (437 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 421.2 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 107.2 mph
ALONSO: Alonso used more of the opposite field in his second turn at the plate, but still needed a run with only eight homers on the board when he called timeout with 1:49 remaining. Alonso continued finding his most success with liners the other way, setting himself up for an absolutely monstrous 453-foot blast over the trees in center field with no time remaining. That buzzer-beating walk-off gave Alonso the second-round victory with 20 homers, and he let out an enormous yell as he watched the last ball clear the fence.
The final matchup was set: Guerrero vs. Alonso for the $1 million prize.
TOTAL: 20 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 467 feet (110 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 112 mph (440 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 425.7 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 107.1 mph
Round 2: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR (40) def. Joc Pederson, LAD (39)
GUERRERO: Vlad Jr. aimed for his own image on the giant video board in left field, knocking ball after ball that kept rising by the time they hit the seats. Just to prove his Derby-record first round wasn’t a fluke, Guerrero put up another 27 dingers in regulation with a startling amount of ease, and he came up just shy of an historic 30 as the final ball of bonus time struck the top of the 19-foot wall in left.
Once Pederson tied him with his own 29-homer outburst, Guerrero returned to the plate for a one-minute swing-off. Guerrero homered on his first three swings of extra time and kept right on rolling, finishing his extra minute with eight dingers to give him 37 in the round and 66 on the night (and passing Giancarlo Stanton’s single-Derby record 61 set in 2016 in the process). Pederson was unfazed, homering on four straight swings at one point and tying Guerrero with zero time left on the clock to set up a dramatic, three-swing swing-off for advancement.
With everything on the line, Guerrero went 440 feet on his first swing but fell short of the fence on his last two. Pederson took his first swing out to right-center, popped up his second swing and fouled off swing No. 3 to set up yet another three-swing tiebreaker. The Derby had never seen something like this before.
In this war of attrition, Guerrero homered on two of his next three swings and yelled audibly at his second dinger to give it enough juice to clear the fence. The pressure once again fell to Pederson, who responded with a dinger to right, a liner that fell short and then a grounder to give Guerrero the most dramatic of second-round victories.
TOTAL: 40 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 488 feet (112 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 114 mph (394 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 422.8 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 104.8 mph
PEDERSON: Pederson put himself one homer ahead of Vladdy’s incredible pace by the time Guerrero took his timeout with 2:39 remaining. The Dodgers star took his timeout with 14 taters on the board, 1:58 left on the clock and bonus time secured, setting up the battle of the night so far. Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel -- who threw to Vlad Guerrero Sr. when he won the Derby in 2007 -- and Pederson were in perfect sync as Joc finished regulation with 27 dingers and within two of Guerrero. He tied Vlad Jr. with nine seconds left -- tying Guerrero’s single-round record in the process -- to set up a one-minute swing-off.
He matched Guerrero with eight more homers in the first tiebreaker, then tied the Blue Jays rookie with one blast in the first three-swing swing-off. Pederson homered on the first swing of the final tiebreaker, but couldn't keep the epic showdown going.
TOTAL: 39 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 450 feet (107 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 109 mph (424 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 412.3 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 103.6 mph
Round 1: Pete Alonso, NYM (14) def. Carlos Santana, CLE (13)
SANTANA (No. 7 seed): Santana was aiming to be the fourth player to win the Derby at his home park, and the Cleveland faithful was firmly in his corner as he repeatedly recieved the loudest applause of the night. The Indians slugger racked up 13 dingers to tie Chapman’s total, topping out at 463 feet.
TOTAL: 13 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 463 feet (109 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 109 mph (463 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 402.0 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 103.2 mph
ALONSO (No. 2 seed): Alonso was spotted pumping himself up in the tunnel, and he came out to home plate with his full game face on. But New York’s prodigious rookie got off to a slow start with just two homers in the first two minutes. Then, Alonso notched a pair of 452-foot dingers midway through the round to earn his bonus time, and he started finding success with a pair of 460-plus foot blasts to center field. Alonso finished with seven homers in the final minute to edge Santana with one second left in regulation.
TOTAL: 14 HRs (walk-off)
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 466 feet (110 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 111 mph (399 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 424.8 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 106.5 mph
Round 1: Ronald Acuna Jr., ATL (25) def. Josh Bell, PIT (18)
ACUNA (No. 6 seed): Acuna’s raw power was on full display, as he routinely cracked homers with 110-plus-mph exit velocities, and he used the center and opposite sides of the field more than any hitter before him. The Braves star wrapped up his first five minutes with 23 dingers, blowing bubble gum while he peppered balls to every corner of Progressive Field. That put him right behind Guerrero’s total after regulation, and Acuna tacked on two more in bonus time.
Acuna had the quantity and the quality; six of his dingers traveled at least 450 feet, and he struck five of them with 110-plus-mph exit velocities.
TOTAL: 25 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 469 feet (111 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 111 mph (469 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 428.0 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 107.6 mph
BELL (No. 3 seed): Bell has been a revelation with both how hard and how far he’s hit the ball this season, and the Pirates slugger held his own after Acuna’s huge round. Bell slugged five homers in his last minute of regulation to put him at 17 homers -- eight shy of Acuna’s total, but he ran out of steam and added just one in bonus time. Three of Bell’s taters traveled past 450 feet.
TOTAL: 18 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 459 feet (112 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 112 mph (459 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 415.9 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 106.8 mph
Round 1: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR (29) def. Matt Chapman, OAK (13)
GUERRERO (No. 8 seed): Vlad Jr. busted right out of the gate with some distance; his first homer traveled a projected 462 feet, and his third traveled 476 feet. That earned Vlad Jr. the bonus time nice and early, and he took an early timeout with seven dingers in the bag and 2:48 left on the clock. Guerrero put everything he had into some vicious swings, with the majestic trajectories of his moonshots the only thing slowing him down.
Guerrero finished his five minutes of regulation time with a fairly casual 24 taters, and he tacked on five more to break Josh Hamilton’s single-round record (28) set at Yankee Stadium in 2008. Those 29 jacks included five of 450-plus feet, and eight over 440 feet.
TOTAL: 29 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 476 feet (110 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 112 mph (421 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 421.5 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 104.8 mph
CHAPMAN (No. 1 seed): How do you follow up the record performance Guerrero submitted? Well, Chapman’s first homer traveled a projected 477 feet -- the longest of the night to that point -- and then he followed with a 442-footer to earn his bonus time right away. Chapman finished his round with a respectable 13, including two over 470 feet.
TOTAL: 13 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 477 feet (108 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 111 mph (447 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 432.1 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 106.2 mph
Round 1: Joc Pederson, LAD (21) def. Alex Bregman, HOU (16)
PEDERSON (No. 5 seed): L.A.’s star slugger tallied just four homers before taking his timeout with 2:11 remaining in the round. Then he went off, crushing 12 more in regulation and hitting his second 440-plus foot homer with 26 seconds remaining to earn the 30-second bonus. Pederson then tacked on another five to set quite a bar -- 21 homers in Round 1.
TOTAL: 21 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 452 feet (106 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 111 mph (400 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 413.4 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 105.4 mph
BREGMAN (No. 4 seed): With Pederson’s huge total looming, Bregman laced six dingers before calling his timeout with 2:30 left. He got a quick pep talk from Astros teammates Gerrit Cole, George Springer and Justin Verlander -- “I need to get hot,” Bregman told them -- and then added another 10 before bowing out to Pederson. Bregman did not notch the requisite two 440-plus foot dingers needed for bonus time.
TOTAL: 16 HRs
LONGEST HR (EXIT VELO): 417 feet (101 mph)
HARDEST HR (DISTANCE): 101 mph (101 feet)
AVG. HR DISTANCE: 388.2 feet
AVG. HR EXIT VELO: 97.4 mph
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.