The Pittsburgh Pirates have seen five other players in team history take a stab at the Home Run Derby, but will Josh Bell be the first to win it?
When Josh Bell steps up to the plate on Monday for the Home Run Derby, he will join great company in Pittsburgh Pirates’ team history — only Pedro Alvarez (2013), Andrew McCutchen (2012), Jason Bay (2005), Barry Bonds (1992) and Bobby Bonilla (1990) have been invited to the Home Run Derby in a Pirates’ uniform.
It’s an event that brings 8 of the biggest sluggers in the league together to test their true power against one another, and a fun way to kick back halfway through the season during the All Star break. Not to mention, Pittsburgh’s very own Josh Bell currently owns the best odds of taking the Home Run Derby title on Monday.
Josh Bell will join seven others on Monday when they square off at 8pm ET at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio:
- Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers)
- Pete Alonso (New York Mets)
- Josh Bell (Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Alex Bregman (Houston Astros)
- Joc Pederson (Los Angeles Dodgers)
- Ronald Acuna (Atlanta Braves)
- Carlos Santana (Cleveland Indians)
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Toronto Blue Jays)
Each player is given a seed 1-8, which depends on how many home runs they have hit this regular season. The seeds go in order shown above, with Josh Bell slotted at No. 3 due to his 27 home runs this year.
The derby will run through 3 rounds, where the 8-seeded bracket will face off head-to-head. After the first round, there will be 4 remaining. After round 2, the final two batters will face off for the crown. Each batter will be given 4 minutes to hit as many home runs as possible.
With the lineup given this year, we are bound to see a lot of home runs — and a bunch of very long-distance ones, which could earn the batter extra time on the clock.
A big change to the Home Run Derby this season is the payout pool. In past events, the pool for the winners was $525,000, but that pool has been increased to a whopping $2.5 million. The crowned trophy winner will be receiving $1 million.
Keep in mind, if Josh Bell wins, he will almost double his yearly earnings this season in a single night. So make sure we root him on to the max on Monday night.
To make this night even sweeter for Pirates’ fans, the batters are allowed to choose their own pitcher for the derby. Josh Bell asked a familiar face to join him in hopefully making history. Jonathan Schwind, who was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 41st round of the same draft Josh Bell was in — Bell was taken in the second round.
The two have grown close throughout the years, despite Schwind never making it out of the Double-A. Schwind was given the nickname “Happy Happy” for his positive attitude, which Bell noticed and developed a friendship with the pitcher. Schwind no longer plays in the MLB, but he is a coach for Pittsburgh’s Minor League team.
The derby will start at 8pm ET and can be seen on ESPN, so set your DVR now and don’t forget!
Do you think Josh Bell can become the first Pittsburgh Pirates’ player to ever win the Home Run Derby? Leave your comments below!