CHICAGO – Count New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso in for this year’s Home Run Derby at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Alonso won the contest the last time it was held, in 2019, edging fellow rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at Cleveland’s Progressive Field for his first derby title.
“I’m all in,” Alonso said Thursday afternoon from Wrigley Field, where the Mets finish up a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs. “I’m ready. If I get invited, I’d love to do it. I’d love to defend my title.”
Last year’s Home Run Derby was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 edition will take place on July 12 at Colorado’s Coors Field after Major League Baseball moved the All-Star Game and related festivities from Atlanta.
Alonso committed to the derby the day after hitting a monster home run that landed on the street beyond the left-center-field bleachers at Wrigley Field. It was measured at 429 feet.
“I’m very happy that ball went far,” Alonso said. “I think Statcast kind of stumped me. I think that ball did not (only) go 429 feet, but that’s what the computer says, and I think the computer is wrong.”
Alonso’s longest home run of his career was measured at 485 feet. He thinks Wednesday’s long ball was closer to that figure than 429 feet.
“If that ball went 429 feet, that’s the shortest ball that’s ever left this stadium,” Alonso said. “I’ve hit plenty of balls here that have gone 430 feet, but if a ball leaves the stadium, there’s no way that ball went only 429 feet.”
Alonso has three home runs this season entering Thursday night’s game against the Cubs. He led the majors with 53 in 2019, his rookie year.
He enjoyed Wednesday’s homer as much as any he’s hit.
“That was one of my favorite home runs I’ve hit,” he said. “That’s top five for me.”