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Home Run Derby introduces format change that limits the number of pitches each batter sees

Home Run Derby introduces format change that limits the number of pitches each batter sees

The format of the Home Run Derby is changing.

This year’s event, taking place on July 15 in Arlington, Texas, limits the number of pitches each batter can play in each round and changes the format of the opening round.

In the first round and semi-finals, each batter gets three minutes or forty pitches, whichever of these benchmarks is reached first. In the final round, a batter gets two minutes or 27 pitches. That doesn’t include the bonus periods hitters get in each round.

Under the previous format, batters still faced a time limit, but there was no restriction on the number of pitches they could face.

Each batter gets bonus pitches until he hits three outs in that period. He gets a fourth out if he hits a home run that travels at least 425 feet in the bonus period. Under the old format, each batter got 30 seconds of bonus time and could get another 30 seconds of bonus time if he hit two home runs of at least 440 feet during the regular period.

All eight batters compete in the opening round, with the top four advancing to the semifinals. The semifinalists are seeded based on the number of home runs they hit in the first round.

Under the previous format, the eight batters essentially competed in a tournament, with head-to-head quarterfinals, semifinals and championship matches. They were seeded based on their season home run totals.

Although Major League Baseball has not yet announced all the players participating in this year’s Home Run Derby, Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson said on social media Sunday evening that he would participate. Last year the Home Run Derby was won by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB