Pete Alonso is made for the Home Run Derby. The loft in his swing ensures he hits the ball with the proper trajectory almost every time, and the power and violence in his legs gives him the ability to drive it well over the 475-foot time-bonus threshold. Plus, he practices for it. Until someone comes along and puts in as much effort towards winning the Derby as he does, the guy might never lose.
He’s like a Long Drive Champ.
Watching Pete Alonso hit against other players in the Home Run Derby is like watching a Long Drive Champion compete against regular pro golfers in a driving competition. Plenty of pro golfers hit the shit out of the ball. Bryson DeChambeau has hit balls over 400 yards off the tee. But no pro golfer will be able to compete against a Long Drive pro when it comes to distance.
It’s just two different levels of driving, for both golf balls and baseballs. Trey Mancini hung in there in the final round, putting up a solid figure of 22 home runs. They were even tied at 17 heading into the final minute, with Alonso needing six bombs in 60 seconds to defend his Home Run Derby crown.
He got them on six consecutive swings. There didn’t seem to be any doubt in his mind about it. It was a foregone conclusion.
Who Can Rise Up?
I took Joey Gallo as my winner before the Derby started. I thought he would beat Alonso in the finals. That didn’t work out too well, as Gallo was bounced in the first round. Nevertheless, someone like Gallo, who might have even more power than Alonso, could potentially unseat him as the Home Run Derby king.
But not unless he puts in the work.
Gallo, Vladdy Jr., Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, etc. need to have some batting practice sessions geared specifically towards the Home Run Derby format, much like Alonso does. If they don’t, they’ll be relying on A) a Herculean, once-in-a-lifetime effort, or B) an off-day from Alonso. Neither are likely to happen.
Pete Alonso put MLB on notice this week. He’s a Long Drive Champion going up against mere PGA Tour pros. It’s child’s play. He knows no one can beat him.
We’ll see if someone is prepared to dethrone the Polar Bear next season.