Pete Alonso can’t wait for his Home Run Derby return

PITTSBURGH — Pete Alonso views the Home Run Derby as a platform to give back to the community, but there’s also the rush of competing in an event he dreamed about participating in growing up.

“It’s a full stadium, a sold-out stadium for people all there to see the same thing,” the Mets first baseman said Monday, a day after his All-Star selection and announcement he would participate in the derby. “I think the coolest part about our game is seeing balls hit hard and far, and it’s a great event and taking a really fun batting practice.”

The event has a prize pool of $2.5 million with the winner receiving $1 million.

Pete Alonso has won the Home Run Derby twice during his MLB career. Robert Sabo for the NY Post

Alonso said he would donate any proceeds through his foundation toward improving community baseball fields.

Alonso won the derby as a rookie in 2019 and repeated as champion in 2021 — the event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Alonso also competed in the derby in 2022 and ’23.

The Mets slugger had indicated he wouldn’t participate this year unless he was chosen to the NL All-Star team.

That selection came to fruition on Sunday, when he was picked as a reserve at first base behind starter Bryce Harper.

Freddie Freeman was also chosen as a reserve at first base for the National League, with Christian Walker a notable snub.

Pete Alonso will be the Mets’ lone representative in the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. Robet Sabo for the NY Post
Former Mets bench coach Dave Jauss, pictured in 2010, will
pitch to Pete Alonso in the Home Run Derby. Paul J. Bereswill for the NY Post

Alonso has asked former Mets bench coach Dave Jauss to serve as his pitcher for the derby.

Jauss pitched to Alonso in the event in 2021 (when Alonso last won) and in ’22.

Bobby Witt Jr., Marcell Ozuna, Gunnar Henderson and Alec Bohm have also committed to this year’s competition. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won last year.

Alonso was asked if there was any player he would love to face in a potential final round to decide the derby.

“For me one of the craziest derbies was the one in [2008] at Yankee Stadium,” Alonso said. “I just remember, it was the most iconic, and Josh Hamilton the round he had. Obviously this is a fake scenario, but if I could face [2008] Josh Hamilton, Round 1 in the finals, that would be really fun. For me that’s a special place in time because it was one of the all-time ones and it was really cool.”

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