With the yearly tradition of the MLB Home Run Derby set to kick off tonight at 8 p.m. at Target Field in Minneapolis, the event sees a whole new format this year in order to try and spice up the contest.
Each league will feature five hitters instead of the usual four, with the American League, captained by Toronto’s Jose Bautista, will field defending champion Yoenis Cespedes of Oakland, his teammate Josh Donaldson, Minnestoa’s Brian Dozier, and Baltimore’s Adam Jones.
The National League squad will counter with picks made by captain Troy Tulowitzki of Colorado: his teammate Justin Morneau; Cincinatti’s Todd Frazier, Los Angeles Dodger Yasiel Puig; and Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
After the players club as many homers as they can in the opening round, the bottom two players from each team will be eliminated, with the rest being seeded into a league-bracket; the AL and NL hitters with the most home runs in Round 1 receive an automatic bye into the semifinals, while the No. 2 and No. 3 finishers duke it out to see who will challenge them for a spot in the finals.
Once the league champs are determined, the two remaining hitters will meet in the title round to decide the 2014 Home Run Derby champion. Check out this graphic from ESPN to see the bracket for yourself.
Other new changes for this year include only seven outs per round instead of the usual 10, as well as home runs are not carried over from round to round (in the past, homers from Rounds 1 and 2 were added together).