Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates after winning the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at T-Mobile Park on July 10, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won the 2023 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby last night in Seattle at T-Mobile Park, beating Randy Arozarena in the finals 25-23.
Guerrero Jr. entered the event as the sixth seed. He finished the first half of the 2023 Major League Baseball regular season having played in 88 games with 384 plate appearances, batting .272 and recording 94 hits, 13 home runs, and 48 RBI prior to the All-Star Break.
Vladimir Gurerero Jr. and his father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr., are the only father-and-son duo to win the Home Run Derby since the competition started in 1985.
Guerrero Jr. is the 12th internationally-born player in the history of Major League Baseball to win the Home Run Derby.
Guererro Sr. won the event in 2007, beating Alex Rios of the Toronto Blue Jays in the finals at AT&T Park in San Francisco hitting a total of 19 home runs during the competition.
Major League Baseball distributed $2.5 million to the event participants. Guerrero Jr. took home $1 million as the winner of the 2023 Home Run Derby.
Guerrero Jr. participated in the second Home Run Derby of his career and swatted 72 home runs last night to earn his first title and become the seventh player from the Dominican Republic to win the event.
In the first round of Monday night, Guerrero Jr. beat Mookie Betts by 15 home runs, 26-11, to advance to the second round, where he faced off against his countryman Julio Rodriguez, representing the hometown Seattle Mariners, in the semifinals.
Rodriguez hit the most home runs in the first round with 41 on Monday night, beating Pete Alonso by 20 home runs to advance to the semifinals.
Arozarena faced off against Adolis Garcia in the first round and beat him by seven home runs 24-17 to advance to the semifinals.
During the semifinals, Guerrero Jr. beat Rodriguez by one home run, 21-20, while Arozarena faced off against fellow Cuban Luis Robert Jr. and beat him by the 13 home runs, 35-22.
Robert hit the farthest home run during the competition on Monday that went 484 feet along with hitting the hardest home run at 113 mph.
Guerrero Jr. ‘s longest home run on Monday night came in the first round, flying 456 feet, and his hardest hit home run had an exit velocity of 112 mph.
Guerrero Jr.’s exit velocity was largely between 104 and 105.6 mph while Blue Jays manager John Schneider was throwing accurate pitches behind the L-screen.
Arozarena had the most home runs in all three rounds, hitting a total of 82 during the event, and had the hardest home run hit, which came in the first round at 110 mph.
Guerrero Jr. is a three-time All-Star and could shine in the spotlight Tuesday night against the National League, as he aims for his second All-Star MVP Award. He was the All-Star Game MVP in 2021 in Denver at Coors Field.
Garcia, Arozarena, and Betts are the only players starting in tonight’s All-Star Game that participated in the Home Run Derby Monday night.
The starting pitchers for Tuesday night will be Gerrit Cole from the New York Yankees for the American League and Zac Gallen from the Arizona Diamondbacks for the National League.
The last time starting pitchers from those two organizations started in the All-Star Game was back in 2001 at Safeco Field in Seattle when Roger Clemens took the mound for the American League and Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson took the mound for the National League during the second All-Star game the city hosted.
Dusty Baker from the Houston Astros will manage the American League and Rob Thompson from the Philadelphia Phillies will manage the National League during the All-Star Game Tuesday night.
The 93rd Major League All Star Game will be on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox.