The All-Star festivities got started with a bang tonight as the 2018 Home Run Derby wowed spectators with the power that was put on display. But in the end, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals came away with the victory over Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs with a score of 19 home runs to 18. However, as impressive as Harper’s performance was, totaling 35 through the entire derby, there were other great performances, and a performance that was disappointing.
Bryce Harper Sweats Out Home Run Derby Win
Best All Around Performances
Coming in as the eighth seed against Jesus Aguilar of the Milwaukee Brewers, Rhys Hoskins made Philadelphia Phillies fans everywhere proud with his performance in the event. After upsetting Aguilar in the first round, hitting 16 home runs to Aguilar’s 12, he would take on Schwarber in a thrilling second round that saw him hit a stunning 20 home runs with his longest home run measuring up to 466 feet. But as time expired, Schwarber would hit his 21st home run on his turn to eliminate Hoskins. Regardless of the fact that he was eliminated, Hoskins was very impressive totaling 36 home runs in his two rounds, with five of them being over 440 feet. He made a miraculous run, but Schwarber just barely beat him out.
Coming into the derby relatively unknown to those outside of the Los Angeles Dodgers fanbase, Max Muncy made sure everyone knew his name with his performance. He started off very hot in his first-round matchup against Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs, hitting seven home runs in nine swings. He would go on to hit the winning home run with 32 seconds left on the clock with the final score ending up 17-16 in Muncy’s favor. The fact that he hit seven consecutive home runs after his timeout was also incredible. But his second round would be a bit tougher as he ran into the hometown hero Bryce Harper. Muncy showed great composure hitting twelve home runs to put the pressure on Harper.
However, Harper would embrace that pressure crushing the last ball before time expired to eliminate Muncy 13-12. Muncy’s performance was certainly his coming out party to the national audience as he finishes with an eye-opening 30 home runs total in the derby. This will definitely not be the last time we see Muncy at this event.
As the winner, his performance had to be included here. Easily the biggest star in the 2018 field, Harper didn’t show any signs of pressure playing in front of the Nationals fans and at their park. In the first round facing off against Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, he showed his killer instinct right away winning the round with 26 seconds remaining with a score of 13-12. Harper would show the instinct again, eliminating Muncy by the same score. And in the final round, he would once again walk it off with his 19th of the round, beating Schwarber 19-18. With every round ending in a walk-off, Nationals fans must have loved this clutch performance, and are hoping it continues in the second half of the season.
There was one performance that didn’t stand out in a good way, and that was the performance of Aguilar. Coming in leading the National League in home runs, Aguilar couldn’t make it out of his first-round matchup against Hoskins, losing 16-12. Aguilar was unable to get hot during his turn, which ultimately led to his elimination. But for now, he can focus on the All-Star Game tomorrow, making the team as the final vote winner.
While many fans were originally worried about the field of the event this year, this turned out to be a great spectacle. Besides the three performances listed here, there were many other great performances, like Schwarber’s and Freeman’s. If the All-Star Game is half as entertaining as this derby was, MLB fans are in for a treat.
Embed from Getty Images