Seager's HR Derby homecoming has unlucky ending

July 19th, 2022

LOS ANGELES -- It was a homecoming of sorts for Rangers shortstop Corey Seager, as the former Dodgers slugger was received warmly by the crowd at Dodger Stadium on Monday night for the T-Mobile Home Run Derby.

Seager, who played with the Dodgers from 2015-21 before signing a 10-year, $325 million deal to join the Rangers last offseason, hit 24 homers in the first round, but he was eliminated by Seattle rookie Julio Rodríguez. Rodríguez wowed the crowd with 32 blasts and later advanced to the finals before losing to Nationals star Juan Soto.

Seager hit the second-highest total of homers in the first round, but he didn’t advance because of his tough matchup with Rodríguez. Seager was the latest player added to the Home Run Derby and the first one eliminated.

"Any time you come back to a fan base that supported you and you won a World Series with, it's special,” Seager said. “It's just exciting and fun to be here. It's nice seeing these fans again and having that moment."

Seager hit 10 homers before taking his timeout with 1:32 left in the round. He had 20 homers after regulation but received a minute of bonus time, as he hit two shots more than 440 feet. Seager hit four more homers during his bonus round.

Seager's longest homer went 451 feet to right-center field and his hardest-hit homer was 106 mph off the bat, per Statcast. His 24 home runs went a combined 1.9 miles, but notably all of them went to right or right-center field. Seager's average exit velocity was 102.9 mph and his average home run distance was 418 feet.

Seager, the 2020 NLCS and World Series MVP with the Dodgers, is having another impressive season in his first year with the Rangers. He’s hit 22 homers in 88 games with Texas this season.

It was the second career Home Run Derby for Seager, who also participated in the 2016 edition at Petco Park. He hit 15 homers in the first round that year, but lost to Mark Trumbo, who hit 16.

Seager had his father, Jeff, pitch to him in this year’s Home Run Derby after also doing so in 2016. Seager said having the opportunity to do that again was a major reason why he did the Derby this year.

"That was another factor on why I wanted to do it,” Seager said. “He threw to me in my last one, and just that moment we had and how much he enjoyed it, I wanted to be able to do it again. It's awesome."