Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on in the dugout during the pre-game show before playing the Boston Red Sox in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 2, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The 2023 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby will be Monday night in Seattle at T-Mobile Park, prior to the MLB All-Star Game Tuesday night.
The Home Run Derby will start at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
Monday Night Home Run Derby First Round Matchups
(1) Luis Robert Jr. (CWS) vs. (8) Adley Rutschman (BAL)
(2) Pete Alonso (NYM) vs. (7) Julio Rodríguez (SEA)
(3) Mookie Betts (LAD) vs. (6) Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR)
(4) Adolis García (TEX) vs. (5) Randy Arozarena (TB)
The 93rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will take place at 8 p.m. EDT on FOX.
Six of the eight players participating in the Home Run Derby Monday night are international, and the other players have had international baseball experience. This year, 269 international players started off the 2023 Major League Baseball Season on the 40-man roster of 30 organizations.
The Dominican Republic has produced six winners of the event, and has two players, Julio Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., participating Monday night in Seattle.
A native of Loma de Cabrera, Dominican Republic, Julio Rodriguez is participating in the second home run derby of his career in his second season playing in the Major Leagues with the Seattle Mariners. Rodriguez lost to Juan Soto in the 2022 Home Run Derby Finals by one home run.
This season, Rodriguez is hitting .249 through 86 games with 393 plate appearances with 90 hits, 18 doubles, one triple, 13 home runs, 49 RBI, 20 stolen bases, and 28 walks.
Rodriguez also suited up for the Dominican Republic during the 2023 World Baseball Classic and played in four games with 18 at-bats, hitting .278 and recording five hits, one double, three RBI, walking once, and striking out nine times.
Last year, Rodriguez won the American League Rookie of the Year Award and Silver Slugger Award after playing in 132 games and batting .284 with 145 hits, 25 doubles, three triples, 28 home runs, 75 RBI, 25 stolen bases, and 40 walks, and was the first rookie to have 25-plus home runs and stolen bases in Major League history.
Rodriguez signed with the Mariners organization eight seasons ago at the age of 16 as an international free agent in July of 2017 for $1.75 million.On August 26, 2022, Rodriguez signed a 14-year contract extension worth up to $400 million with the Mariners.
Rodriguez is the only player in the history of Major League Baseball to medal at the Olympics, winning the bronze at the 2020 Summer Games, and win a Rookie of the Year Award to begin his professional career.
Ken Griffey Jr. won the Home Run Derby in 1999, and is the only Seattle Mariners player to win the Home Run Derby, doing so three times, the most since the event started in 1985.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was born in Montreal, Canada, and is the son of Hall-of-Famer Vladimir Gurerrero Sr. He has been selected to his third consecutive All-Star Game.
No Toronto Blue Jays player has ever won the Home Run Derby. Guerrero is participating in his second Home Run Derby, having also participated in the 2019 event during his rookie season, losing to Pete Alonso in the finals.
During the 2023 season, Guerrero has played in 87 games with 380 plate appearances, batting .277 with 94 hits, 19 doubles, 13 home runs, 58 RBI, and 30 walks.
Last season, Guerrero played in 160 games, batting .274 with 706 plate appearances and 175 hits, 35 doubles, 32 home runs, 97 RBI, eight stolen bases, and 58 walks, along with winning the Gold Glove Award at first base.
In 2021, Guerrero won the American League Hank Aaron Award, Silver Slugger Award, and was the American League leader in home runs with 48, while playing in 161 games and batting .311 in 698 plate appearances with 188 hits, 29 doubles, 111 RBI, and 86 walks. He finished second in the voting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.
During the 2020 season, Guerrero played in 60 games, batting .262 with 243 plate appearances andrecording 58 hits, 13 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 33 RBI, and walking 20 times.
Guerrero made his Major League debut on April 26, 2019 for the Blue Jays and played in 123 games, batting .272 with 126 hits, 26 doubles, 15 home runs, 69 RBI, and 46 walks.
Guerrero has spent seven seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays organization, having signed on July 2, 2015, as an international free agent for $3.9 million at the age of 16. On March 22, 2022 Guerrero signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for $7.9 million to avoid salary arbitration.
In five seasons, Guerrero has a lifetime average of .283 with 117 home runs and 364 RBI.
His father Vladimir Guerrero Sr. won the Home Run Derby back in 2007, and they could be the first father-and-son to ever win the competition if he accomplishes that feat on Monday night in Seattle.