Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper will take on Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman in an all-NL East matchup in the first round of the Home Run Derby on Monday night. Harper defeated Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs for the championship.
The semifinals began with a battle between Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins of the Philadelphia Phillies. Muncy followed with another victory by one, 17-16, over Javier Baez of the Cubs. Harper said he knew when calling timeout with 1:20 left that things needed to change.
Hoskins is the first Phille to participate in the Home Run Derby since Ryan Howard in 2009, and he got into a groove early to dispatch Milwaukee Brewers sugger Jesus Aguilar, despite being the first hitter of the night.
However, his flair for the dramatic was evident in the final minute as he homered on eight consecutive swings - with the final one, No. 18, bringing him into tie Schwarber.
The slugger dominated in the second round with 20, which included the 30-second bonus time for hitting two balls over 440 feet.
Over the first two-and-a-half minutes of his round, the OH native hit 12 home runs.
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Ron Harper will again throw to his son, as he did in the 2013 Home Run Derby at Citi Field. The Yankees may also pursue Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado instead of Harper, who could command anywhere between $400-450 million on his next contract.
He will face Max Muncy of the Dodgers. His score of 21 in round 2 was the highest single-round score of the night.
Sale and Scherzer are both making their third All-Star starts, joining 13 other pitchers with that distinction.