MLB has announced that it’s revamping the format for this year’s Home Run Derby.
There will be eight hitters (down from 10) in a bracket-style single-elimination tournament, with the loser of each matchup immediately eliminated. Seeding is based on each player’s home run total through July 7.
The rounds are now timed. Unlike the old format, which gave each batter 10 “outs” to record as many home runs as possible, each contestant now gets five minutes to hit as many homers as they can. Hitters can get extra time in two ways:
- In the final minute of each round, the clock stops for every home run and doesn’t start again until a non-home run.
- Players can receive bonus time based on the distance of their home runs. Two home runs of at least 420 feet results in one minute of added time, and a home run of at least 475 feet results in an additional 30 seconds.
Batters also have the option of using a 45-second timeout, available in each round.
The 2015 Home Run Derby will be held July 13 at the Cincinnati Reds’ Great American Ball Park. If he participates, Yoenis Cespedes will attempt to be the first player in history to win the event three years in a row.
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