The 2017 Home Run Derby was full of absolutely hammered home runs and some of the league’s best hitters, with Aaron Judge coming out on top.
The 2017 Home Run Derby showcased how well the new format is working, with some impressive showings from everyone involved. In the end, like many expected, Aaron Judge came out on top to become the new Home Run Derby champion.
Judge overcame an impressive field and an insane amount of overall home runs, in what was an incredibly fun night filled with buzzer-beating home runs and some absolute moonshots. In the end, Judge defeated Miguel Sano in the finals to take home the title in his first-ever Home Run Derby in his rookie season.
The first round was highlighted by the matchup between returning champion, Miami Marlins own, and top seed Giancarlo Stanton and the eighth-seeded Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees. Sanchez went window hunting in his four minutes, launching 15 homers even before his extra time kicked in, and finished with 17 to put some serious pressure on last year’s champ.
Stanton got off to a slow start in his rebuttal, but picked up the pace in a major way in his last two and a half minutes, launching balls at a rapid pace. He finished with 16 homers, just one shy of Sanchez’s round, and the upset was complete.
We also saw Sano put on an impressive performance to advance with 11 home runs, before his opponent Mike Moustakas came up just short with 10 in his four minutes.
Meanwhile, Charlie Blackmon hit 14 home runs in his first-round matchup with Cody Bellinger, before Bellinger utilized his extra 30 seconds to get to 15 home runs with five seconds left and advance. Bellinger hit right in the feels with his dad on the mound, and pulled off the awesome comeback with his father right in the mix.
To round out the first round, Stanton’s Marlins teammate Justin Bour stepped into the batter’s box to try and put some heat on another Derby favorite in Judge, and crushed 22(!!!) home runs in his four and a half minutes.
Judge proved superhuman he is, hitting 21 in regulation before shutting the door in extra time, finishing with 23 bombs, including a 501-foot moonshot at one point in the round.
In the final four, Sanchez and Sano battled first, with Sanchez dying out a bit as he hit 10 homers in four and a half minutes. Sano hit 11 with 43 seconds left, and finished off an underwhelming matchup after the Bour/Judge madness to advance to the finals.
Next, Bellinger stepped up to the plate looking to take Judge down off of his high pedestal, but could only put up 12 home runs in his second go in the Derby. Judge then showcased his dominance with an absolutely monstrous 513-foot bomb on his way to the finals with 13 home runs in just three minutes.
In the finals, Sano couldn’t get anything going, as he only put up 10 home runs to finish out his night before Judge came out to steal the show. Judge made it look easy, hitting the 11 home runs needed in just over two minutes.
Judge’s victory in the first round over Bour proved to be the equivalent of a true finals matchup, and it provided some of the craziest moments of the night before the pace quickly died down.
To start the night, Marlins fans in attendance were booing Judge, and he definitely made some more fans by the night’s end. Now, we just have to wait until next year to get more Judge bombs when he likely defends his crown.