New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso won his second consecutive Home Run Derby Monday night, edging Trey Mancini 23-22 in the final round after blasting 51 homers in the first two rounds against Salvador Perez and Juan Soto.
After the event, the “Polar Bear” made a pretty fair declaration about himself.
“I think I’m the best power hitter on the planet,” Alonso said, according to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. “Being able to showcase that, and really putting on a fun display for fans, I just think it’s a dream come true for me because when I was young, my parents let me stay up past my bedtime to watch this. That was one of the few nights per year I actually got to stay up past my bedtime, just watch incredible feats that you don’t see in a regular baseball game.
“To be able to participate — it’s a dream come true. To be able to do it back-to-back — this is really special for me. And really cool.”
Alonso declaring himself as the best power hitter in baseball might not be so wrong, either. According to Baseball Savant, the 26-year-old ranks in the 94th percentile in exit velocity, 99th percentile in max exit velocity, 81st percentile in hard-hit balls and 93rd percentile in barrel percentage.
His barrel percentage ranks in the top seven percent of Major League Baseball, while his exit velocity ranks in the top six percent of the league. His maximum exit velocity ranks in the top one percent, and it has since he entered MLB in 2019.
Alonso also defeated Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with 23 home runs in the final round of the 2019 Home Run Derby. He joins Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Cespedes (2013-14) in winning consecutive titles.
While he could go for a three-peat next year at Dodger Stadium, Alonso said he wasn’t sure if he’d participate in the event just yet. No one has ever won the event three years in a row, so Alonso would be the first if he decides to compete and comes out victorious.
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