2015 Home Run Derby: Start Time, Format, Participants, TV Coverage

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2015 Gilliette Home Run Derby

American League vs National League — 8 PM ET

Great American Ball ParkCincinnati, OH 

TV: ESPN

Weather: 80 degrees, scattered thunderstorms

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Contest Preview

For the second straight year, no Detroit Tigers player will participate in the 30th anniversary edition of the Gillette Home Run Derby, which is a bit of bad luck and misfortune. Miguel Cabrera stated in an indirect way on Twitter that he was open to the idea of appearing in this year’s Home Run Derby if elected to the All-Star Game. While he was elected to start first base, an injury will keep him out until August.

Yoenis Cespedes is the two-time defending derby champion, but he was aced out of the ASG in the final vote by Kansas City Royals third basemen Mike Moustakas.

Finally, one of the leaders in home runs in the sport, J.D. Martinez, was not added to the derby roster for no real good reason. J.D. wanted to participate and already had a “game plan” in place to treat the contest like batting practice. He acknowledged that maybe he needed to “pay his dues” first, though that wouldn’t explain Chicago Cubs’ rookie Kris Bryant in the lineup.

Nonetheless, if you like majestic, moonshot homers (even if you can’t watch injured superstar Giancarlo Stanton hit them), and you can endure a painful three hours of Chris Berman saying the word “back” 2 million times, this is the event for you.

Format

Also for the second straight year, baseball has introduced a brand new system in hopes of once again streamlining the competition that has in the past stretched three hours or longer, the average time of a regular baseball game.

To help with this, MLB has introduced an NCAA-like single-elimination bracket pairing.

Another major change is that the out system has been mothballed. In previous derbies, players received 10 outs so they theoretically could hit endless homers between outs — as Detroit fans remember Bobby Abreu doing at Comerica Park 10 years ago.

Now there is a running five-minute clock in which the player will try to hit as many homers as he can. In the final minute, however, the clock will stop after each homer hit and will restart after a ball lands that is not a homer or if a batter swings through a pitch.

Bonus time will be awarded in the sluggers hit a shot at least 420 feet and even more time will be added for bombs of 475 feet or more.

Participants 

(Homer totals heading into Sunday’s games)

American League

Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels (26 HR)

Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays (21 HR)

Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles (19 HR)

Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers (14 HR)

National League

Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds (25 HR)

Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers (20 HR)

Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (16 HR)

Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs (12 HR)

Next: All-Star Break Power Rankings