Vlad Guerrero Jr. may have come in second at last night’s home run derby, but he’s first in the record books.
Guerrero talled 91 total home runs during the event, launching 29 bombs in both the first and second rounds. The 29 home runs is also a record, with the previous best being held by Josh Hamilton who hit 28 in a round back in 2008.
29 homers in the first round for Vlad Guerrero Jr.
— ESPN (@espn) July 9, 2019
Joc Pederson also hit 29 in a single round last night to earn a share of the new record, but the talk of the night was Guerrero.
After hitting 29 in the first round to beat the A’s Matt Chapman, Guerrero teed off on 29 more in round two, tying Pederson. The two then had to go into three tie-breaking rounds, with Guerrero advancing to the final with a score of 40-39.
However, Guerrero’s night of firsts would come to an end when he would lose to the Mets’ Pete Alonso in the final. After becoming the youngest person at 20 to compete in the event, his chance at becoming the youngest to then win the Derby came to an end at the hands of Alonso.
There was some controversy surrounding Guerrero about whether or not he deserved to be in the event. In addition to being 20 and only a rookie, he also only had 8 home runs in 58 games for the Toronto Blue Jays before the break. Unimpressive numbers for a power hitter.
But those critics were quickly put to sleep after Guerrero began launching bombs over the left field wall, including a the longest home run of the night that traveled 488 feet in the second round.
With his showcase last night, it should be safe to say he’ll be invited back next year without any hesitation.