On Sunday, Major League Baseball announced they would be instituting a new set of rules to govern the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby, set to take place at Great American Ballpark (great name) in Cincinnati on July 13.
The derby is set to be a moonshot abundant evening in the extremely home run friendly park, and the MLB’s new rules sound like they will make the event more exciting than ever.
USA Today reports on a newly-instituted (moon)shot clock, MLB’s seeding system, and more.
MLB on Sunday announced that it is ditching the 10-out format and instead giving each batter a five-minute period to launch home runs. Balls that do not go for home runs will not be counted against them.
It also will seed the field based on 2015 home run totals through July 7, with the better seed batting second. The winners of each bracket will meet in the final.
The timer will begin counting down with the release of the first pitch; any home run after the 1-minute mark will stop the timer immediately, and won’t re-start until the batter hits a ball that does not land in home run territory, or swings and misses at a pitch.
And sluggers will be rewarded for their most prodigious long balls, receiving a minute of bonus time if at least two balls in a round equal or exceed 420 feet, and 30 seconds if one travels at least 475 feet. Ties will be broken by a 90-second swing-off; if the batters remain tied, a three-swing swingoff will determine the winner.
The clocked rounds will give the event – which often dragged on as preliminary rounds ran long – a sense of time certainty, likely making it a more TV-friendly event.
Sounds awesome, actually. Like it has the potential to increase the competitiveness of what is already the best event of all the All-Star Game festivities.
With the new seeding system, fans will be insured to see the game’s best sluggers at the moment, and putting all those guys on the field together is sure to produce a lazer show.
2015 Gillette HR Derby presented by Head & Shoulders introduces new format, featuring brackets & timed rounds. pic.twitter.com/e3sFa1qxBp
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 28, 2015
Also, the idea of a clock is cool as well, because it’ll pull on endurance and the hitters’ ability to make contact at critical moments when earning more time is at stake.
Realistically, I couldn’t be more excited for the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby. To give you guys an idea of who will be in the batters box come July 13th, here’s a look at Major League Baseball’s current home run leaders.
Cannot. Wait. For. Liftoff.
When @Giancarlo818 impresses himself … pic.twitter.com/UUB9LIzFbd
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) May 13, 2015
Unfortunately, that guy, the current MLB home run leader was just placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, expected to miss 4-6 weeks. So, unless the MLB bends the rules, he is not eligible to compete this year, although Stanton is on record saying he would if asked.