Pete Alonso’s 10 Step Plan to Win the Home Run Derby

Since his debut in 2019, no one has clashed more in baseball than New York Mets basketball player Pete Alonso. In fact, no one came close. Alonso’s 130 tops the second most prolific home hitter, Eugenio Suarez, with 19. Alonso has 24 more than Aaron Judge, 32 more than Bryce Harper, 35 more than Juan Soto and 36 more than Mike Trout.

“It’s the most addictive feeling,” Alonso said. “I mean, I can’t get enough of that. I don’t know if there’s anyone who likes hitting reptiles more than me.”

That love never shows better than Home Run Derby, the all-star show of All-Star Week featuring the greatest hitters of Major League Baseball. Plus he’s become a hitter like Alonso – his .268 / .344 / .527 streak in a depressed attacking environment this season is proof – a yearly midsummer reminder of his long-ball prowess is set for another departure – around Monday at Dodger Stadium On ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.

The winner of the last two derbies of 2019 and 2021, Alonso is poised to make history with his third game in a row. Only Ken Griffey Jr. has three derby titles, and he did so in 1994, 1998 and 1999. Although Alonso, 27, has plenty of time to match Junior’s total, he prefers to go the finale route.

To do this requires strategy combined with skills. And in a recent interview with ESPN, Alonso unveiled how he approaches the derby and what it takes to win, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a rookie looking for glory. Look, just a few hours before they get put to the test: Pete Alonso’s 10 rules for winning a home derby.

Rule. 1: crazy wet

Alonso said winning the home derby starts days before the event itself. He makes sure to eat well and get a few extra hours of sleep. Above all, though, he drinks water as if he were suffering from personal dehydration.

The derby’s new format, set in 2015, places the eight participants in a seeded category. Each rider swings for three minutes, with a 45-second timeout per round. Then he gets 30 seconds of overtime—and can gain another 30 seconds if, in the first three minutes, at least one Homer travels more than 440 feet.

“People think the derby is a show of strength, but I think it’s more than just an ability competition,” Alonso said. “The thing is, it’s not just the day before. It’s two days ago for me. I always try to be the most hydrated person I can be because when you’re here you sweat, especially now in the summer, it must be a lot, and then you start to feel tired if you don’t be so [hydrated]. So I just want to be able to get my body back, recover and be able to maintain high energy production.”

Rule. 2: Get moral support

For those who have the courage to enter the derby on their own land, know that the support of friends goes a long way. And when you’re Pete Alonso, your friends are Mike Piazza and Mark McGuire, the latter of whom won the 1992 Derby.

“I thought they were pretty much superheroes, and to be able to get into both [is amazing]Alonso said. Mark texted me that day, and he’s so excited that I’m going to be in the derby. So it’s really surprising that I have a relationship with my childhood stars.”

Rule. 3: the discount does not matter

Alonso is a number. 2 seeded in this year’s derby, which ranked hitters based on first-half results at home. Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber leads the field, followed by Alonso, Cory Seeger, Soto, Jose Ramirez, rookie Julio Rodriguez and Alonso’s opponent Ronald Acuna Jr. and Albert Pujols.

It would be easy and natural to fear Alonso Acuna – his first-round opponent (seeded 7, with eight runs this season). Akuna and her youthful punch – 24 – are the kind of combination that plays well in this event. But he’s Pete Alonso, and everyone isn’t, and that kind of self-confidence goes a long way.

“It doesn’t necessarily matter who I’m up against because I’m just there and focused on my current job, whichever number is set, I just need to multiply one more,” he said. “So I don’t really care who does it. I just want to hit one more than anyone I come across.”

Rule. 4: Find the right pitcher

Alonso admitted that not everyone can have the best shooting in the world – a marksman who is willing to fly from Europe for the event. Dave Gauss, the former Mets bench coach and current bowler at Home Run Derby X, and the MLB’s bid to make the derby an international event, turned into a temporary celebrity last year when he moved the field after a throw into Alonso’s nitro zone.

“He knows where he is just right,” Alonso said. “Directly over the middle of the plate and right in the breadbasket. As much as I have to hit them, the pitcher has to throw them. It’s just as irritating to the pitcher’s nerves as the batter, because it’s your responsibility to throw the ball over the plate. When you have 40 or 50,000 people have their eyes on you.” And breathing down your neck, so to speak, it can be hard.”

Rule. 5: Get to know your area

In timed derby matches, it is not only necessary for the bowler to find the place of the beautiful hitter, but it is also necessary for the participant not to swing below the pitch. Remember that the bowler has to wait for the volleyball to land to cast the next show. High flies that don’t live up to the fence are killer.

“I’m basically looking for a pitch in my area,” Alonso said. “I have an area that I’m looking for the ball to be in. So that’s going to be my go area. Pretty much my whole load trying to see the ball in my area. And then, once I finally get to that loaded area of ​​the situation, if I like what I see, you should see my hips.” And my build and my legs spin backwards and through a baseball game.”

Rule. 6: Hold on to your swing

Despite all the panic over whether the derby could spoil a player’s swing – plenty of evidence shows that participants’ offensive numbers drop after the break… and there are plenty of examples of players’ attacking improvement – Alonso made the point moot by trying to repeat a swing Inside the game in the gallery.

“When I practice hitting, I try to swing like a game,” Alonso said. “I want to be quick and short in baseball but also add that similar level of effort. Because I want to train at a similar pace. [as] The way I play it.

“Swinging is almost like a fingerprint, with every baseball player being different. In baseball, there are a lot of comparisons. No one is alike. People can be strikingly similar. But I think swing is one of those things — it’s almost like a fingerprint. A baseball player’s thumb.”

Rule. 7: Use your timeouts smartly

A timed deadline can be a saving grace for a player’s chances of winning the $1 million derby prize. Participants can use it for any number of reasons – he’s off to a bad start and wants to change his wrestling, needs to calculate how fast he needs to beat an opponent or, usually, he’s simply tired.

Alonso said, “I know it sounds like a very simple answer, but when I take the time it’s like, OK, I need to breathe. I need a reset. Or like last year: I’m past the halfway mark because we were in a really good groove.” Once the groove is over, it’s like, OK, let’s take some time here, catch our breath and then cross the finish line. So I think timing the breaks right is huge.”

Rule. 8: Unleash Your Emotions

Trying to calibrate all the emotion the derby brings is still a challenge for Alonso. He does not have any special technique to calm the nerves. So he embraces them all – and in the process, he loves himself for sodas.

“There is excitement,” Alonso said. “There’s doubt. There are ants. There is reservation. It’s just like a soda bottle full of feelings. And then when you get out there and hit, by the time you shake and leave the top, that’s just a release of emotions. And that’s when, for me, when I’m in My groove, it appears naturally.”

Rule. 9: Hit the tanks

Look, running derbies are not for the meek. It takes a special kind of confidence to get into the batting box and hit the ball over the fence. But come on. The fence is just an arbitrary measure of distance. As memorable as the visitors in the groups, the truly legendary performances come from the players who hit the ball the farthest.

Alonso embraces this spirit. In last year’s finals against Baltimore’s Tre Mancini, Alonso’s first swing brought him his longest home in the derby: 509 feet. Later in that run, on the cusp of victory, he destroyed another ball: 115 mph off the bat, 508 feet before landing. The 74 home runs in this event covered a total of 6.35 miles — an average of 453 feet per homer.

Dodger Stadium presents a particularly luscious opportunity for Alonso. Six times in history the ball has hit over the wing of the field and off the field: Willie Stargill twice, Piazza, McGuire, Giancarlo Stanton – who almost got involved in this year’s Derby but pulled out this week – and Fernando Tates Jr. Alonso, a believer in the idea that the league uses very pulsating balls for derbies, wants to be seventh.

“People tell me all the time that with derby balls and the environment, maybe I’ll be able to put one in the parking lot,” Alonso said. “So I think that would be fun. Hit one from the outside.”

Rule. 10: Have a blast

Perhaps this is clear. The Home Run Derby is an inherently fun event, and regardless of conflicting feelings, variables outside your control, and hydration dangers, the time has to be right. relax. Be thankful for the fence scrapers. Laugh at the bad twists. And above all, enjoy it.

“I’m there to win,” Alonso said. “I’m doing it to win, and it’s going to be great, but in the end I’m going to have a great time. I’ll be able to help support some people in need. That would be a blast.”

Leave a Comment