New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso announced via his Instagram on Monday afternoon that he will compete in the 2022 Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium during All-Star Weekend on July 18.
Alonso has won the previous two Home Run Derbies and another triumph in Los Angeles next week would see him become the first player ever to win three-straight competitions.
Ken Griffey Jr. is the only other player in MLB history to win three Home Run Derbies, doing so in 1994 before reeling off two straight in 1998-1999.
Per multiple reports, former Mets bench coach Dave Jauss will serve as Alonso’s pitcher in the Derby — a responsibility he had last year when the slugging first baseman hit a record 35 homers in the first round before ultimately defeating Baltimore’s Trey Mancini 23-22 in the final at Colorado’s Coors Field.
As a rookie, Alonso won the 2019 Home Run Derby in Cleveland on his way to setting an MLB record with 53 round-trippers hit in a single season by a first-year player.
Entering Monday night’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves, the 27-year-old ranks second in the National League with 23 home runs behind only Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies.
In his three-and-a-half MLB seasons (455 games), his 129 home runs are the most hit in Major League Baseball during that span — 19 ahead of second-place Eugenio Suarez — and already rank eighth all-time in Mets franchise history.
Despite finishing behind St. Louis Cardinals superstar Paul Goldschmidt in the fan voting, Alonso was elected as a reserve to the National League All-Star team, which was made official on Sunday night. He’ll be joined in Los Angeles by three other Mets teammates in Jeff McNeil, Edwin Diaz, and Starling Marte.