MIAMI -- Fans of the long ball, rejoice: Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton will be back to defend his Home Run Derby crown, and he'll do so in his home park.Stanton, who won last year's event by mashing a record 61 homers, became the first to announce his acceptance for the
MIAMI -- Fans of the long ball, rejoice: Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton will be back to defend his Home Run Derby crown, and he'll do so in his home park.
Stanton, who won last year's event by mashing a record 61 homers, became the first to announce his acceptance for the 2017 T-Mobile Home Run Derby, to be held on Monday, July 10.
The 27-year-old will be vying for his second consecutive Derby crown, a feat that has been accomplished just once since 2000 (Yoenis Cespedes, 2013-14).
"Man, it's going to be so much fun. I'm really looking forward to it," Stanton said. "The home crowd. The home city. All week is going to be good. I'm just looking forward to it. It's going to be fun."
Just hours prior to his announcement on Sunday during ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," Stanton launched his 20th dinger of the season, which ties him for fifth in the Major Leagues.
While the rest of the world awaits word from Yankees wunderkind Aaron Judge, whose 26 homers lead the bigs, Stanton said he's excited to meet the 25-year-old, with whom he shares a physical resemblance.
"It's going to be on the big stage, apparently," Stanton said. "It'll probably be before, in press conferences. It'll be cool. It'll be a fun couple of days, and I'm looking forward to it."
This will be Stanton's third Derby. Though he didn't win his first time, in 2014 at Target Field, his tape-measure shots stole the show.
His secret to securing the title in '16? Pace.
"I was getting tired a little bit, so i [I just have to] keep the stamina and stay inside the ball," he said. "Just clean, crisp swings."
Home-field advantage might give Stanton a leg up on the competition. He's hit 93 of his 228 career homers at Marlins Park, the site of the Derby, and the MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard on July 11.
The 88th Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM will have comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.
Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami.