Vladimir Guerrero Jr. narrowly defeated Randy Arozarena in the 2023 MLB Home Run Derby on Monday night.
It was Guerrero's first Home Run Derby win.
Guerrero batted first right after he won his semifinal matchup. It allowed Arozarena to get some extra rest before he stepped up to the plate. The Toronto Blue Jays star hit 20 home runs before he got the 60-second bonus. He wrapped up the final round with 25 dingers.
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Arozarena stepped up to the plate after Guerrero. The Tampa Bay Rays slugger didn’t hit his first home run until about 20 seconds into his round. He called timeout with 1:01 left and only nine home runs hit. However, he couldn’t hit a homer over 440 feet to get the bonus time but did enough to get within four home runs before the 30-second bonus time came.
Arozarena came close but no cigar. He finished with 23 home runs.
Guerrero hung on to win the derby.
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Arozarena had to get through Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert Jr. in the semifinals. The Rays outfielder topped Robert 35-25 before going to face off against Guerrero.
Guerrero defeated Seattle Mariners youngster Julio Rodriguez, the runner-up at least year’s event, 21-20. Guerrero nearly won the event in 2019 but was beaten in the finals by New York Mets star Pete Alonso.
He and his father, Vladimir Guerrero, are the first father-son combo to win the Derby. The elder Guerrero won in 2007.
San Diego Padres star Juan Soto did not participate in this year’s competition. He was the reigning champion.
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Now, the super sluggers will turn their attention to the MLB All-Star Game. The game will be on FOX on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET. New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole will get the start for the American League and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen will take the bump for the National League.