Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press
Major League Baseball announced Sunday that Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will compete in the 2017 Home Run Derby.
Stanton will look to defend his home run crown on home turf with the 2017 All-Star Game at Marlins Park in Miami. He defeated Chicago White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s event.
Entering Sunday, Stanton was tied for fifth in MLB with 20 home runs and 21st in slugging percentage (.551).
The 27-year-old will likely be favored to retain his title. He put on a show last summer in San Diego, hitting 61 total home runs, including 24 in the first round. ESPN Stats & Info shared some facts about his performance:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Giancarlo Stanton’s HR had a lot of distance to them https://t.co/75Y8tWjlGO
Stanton will have some stiff competition should New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge enter his name in the 2017 Derby. Earlier in the week, Judge declined to commit one way or the other after receiving an invitation to compete.
Judge’s 26 home runs are the most in MLB, and he has the longest homer of the year so far (495 feet), according to MLB.com’s Statcast data.
Adopting the bracket-based format in 2014 has largely been a hit for the Home Run Derby, and under those rules, the Derby is tailor-made for a head-to-head battle between Stanton and Judge.