José Ramírez is taking his talents to Los Angeles as he’ll be participating in tonight’s Home Run Derby. When he steps up to the plate with his former hitting coach (and current Double-A hitting coach) Junior Betances tossing him pitches, he’ll be the first Guardian since Carlos Santana in 2019 to participate in the event.
The derby will be broadcast on ESPN starting at 8 p.m. ET, though Ramírez won’t be up right away. In the current bracket format of the Home Run Derby, Ramírez will be the fourth matchup of the night. His opponent, Juan Soto, was knocked out in the first round of last year’s derby, losing to eventual champion Pete Alonso.
The full matchup list includes Kyle Schwarber vs. Albert Pujols, Pete Alonso vs. Ronald Acuña Jr., Corey Seager vs. Julio Rodriguez, and Soto vs. Ramírez to end the first round. The first and second rounds will consist of three minutes worth of home runs, while the final round is cut down to two minutes. A 45-second time-out is available during each round for each participant, as well.
Stats can pretty much go out the window when it comes to deciding which slugger will get the most meatballs to crush 400 feet, but Ramírez currently ranks No. 18 in the majors with 19 home runs. Considering how much is made about him purposefully hitting the ball all over the field and not just pulling it for pure power, it will be interesting to see how he looks when his only goal is to hit a bunch of cement mixers as far as possible.
When he’s done hitting homers, Ramírez will start preparing for Tuesday’s All-Star Game, where he’ll join Andrés Giménez, Emmanuel Clase, and friends to face the National League’s best.