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Predictions for 2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby

Juan Soto in 2022 Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium. Soto defeated Julio Rodríguez in the Championship Round to become the 2022 HR Derby King - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

BACK, BACK, BACK, BACK, BACK, GONE! The stage is set for one of the most electrifying sporting events of the year, the 2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby — eight sluggers who all believe they have what it takes to be named the 2023 Home Run Derby Champion, and head home in style with a dazzling one-of-a-kind, Seattle-inspired Home Run Chain. 

So, who will be deemed the Home Run Derby King? All the action takes place on Monday night July 10th at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington — live broadcast begins at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, and the ESPN App. 

The first round matchups are: 

(1) Luis Robert Jr. vs. (8) Adley Rutschman

(2) Pete Alonso vs. (7) Julio Rodríguez

(3) Mookie Betts vs. (6) Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

(4) Adolis García vs. (5) Randy Arozarena

2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby – Image Credit: MLB

Before we dive into predictions, there are some key details to hit on with this year’s Home Run Derby contestants: 

Four previous LatinoMVP award winners are participating in the 2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby — Julio Rodríguez (recipient of 2022 AL LatinoMVP Rookie award), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (recipient of 2021 AL LatinoMVP award), Randy Arozarena (recipient of 2020 AL LatinoMVP Rookie award), and Pete Alonso (recipient of 2019 NL LatinoMVP Rookie award).

Pete Alonso – Image Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

Alonso is seeking his third HR Derby title, which would tie him with Ken Griffey Jr. for the most-ever in HR Derby history. All together, the Polar Bear, Alonso, who was deemed the Home Run Derby King in 2019 and 2021, has totaled 174 home runs in derbies, making him the all-time leader in the event’s history. 

Guerrero Jr. holds the all-time record for most home runs hit in one single HR Derby (91) and most hit in a single round — 40 in the Semifinal round of the 2019 HR Derby at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

Additionally, the 24-year-old’s father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr., won the HR Derby in 2007 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California — if Guerrero Jr. wins the Derby on Monday night, they will become the first father-son duo to accomplish the legendary feat. Speaking of the father-son duo, Guerrero Sr. won the AL LatinoMVP award in 2002 as well as in 2004 while his son, Vladdy Jr., was deemed the AL LatinoMVP award winner in 2021. 

Julio Rodríguez, the hometown favorite, is entering his second HR Derby contest and with the performance he put on last year, finishing as the runner-up, expect fireworks in Seattle. The J-Rod Show totaled 81 home runs in the 2022 HR Derby, which is the second-most ever in one Derby, only behind Guerrero Jr.

Julio Rodríguez in 2022 Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

With a win on Monday, Rodríguez would become the fourth player to win the Derby at their home ballpark (Bryce Harper in 2018, Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990). 

Adolis García, the Rangers 30-year-old outfielder, born in Ciego de Avila, Cuba, received his first-career All-Star nod this season, and will be appearing in his first Home Run Derby. García, known by many as ‘El Bombi,’ can become the second-ever Cuban-born player to win the Home Run Derby — joining Yoenis Céspedes, a native of Granma, Cuba (back-to-back HR Derby Champ in 2013 & 2014), and also, a recipient of the 2015 NL LatinoMVP award. 

Here are my round-by-round predictions on what’s to come in the 2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby: 

Matchups for 2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby – Image Credit: MLB


(1) Luis Robert Jr. vs. (8) Adley Rutschman

The 25-year-old, of Guantanamo, Cuba, Luis Robert Jr., will advance and get by the switch-hitting O’s All-Star catcher Adley Rutschman. Robert Jr. has totaled 26 home runs this season, which currently ranks second in the American League and tied for third in all of MLB.

Fun Fact: The only switch-hitter to advance past the first round in Home Run Derby history? Rubén Sierra in the 1989 HR Derby — the first-ever recipient of the LatinoMVP award (1990). 

(2) Pete Alonso vs. (7) Julio Rodríguez 

Expect a nail-biter in this one with J-Rod advancing. Alonso and The J-Rod Show went head-to-head in the Semifinal round of last year’s Home Run Derby in L.A., and hit a total of 55 home runs between the two within the given round (J-Rod: 31 — Alonso: 24). Craziness! 

Contestants in 2022 MLB Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

“L.A. was cool, I enjoyed it,” Rodríguez said leading up to the 2023 Derby. “But being able to be at home and put on a show for the Mariners fans, I know it’ll be really exciting.”

(3) Mookie Betts vs. (6) Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Guerrero Jr., who is appearing in his second-career HR Derby, will take down the Dodgers All-Star Mookie Betts by two-three home runs. Dating back to the start of last season, Toronto’s superstar, Guerrero Jr., has totaled 45 HR while Betts, a five-time Silver Slugger, has left the yard 61 times in that span. 

Mookie Betts – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

Surprising Find: The Dodgers have never had a player in their franchise history win the Home Run Derby. 

(4) Adolis García vs. (5) Randy Arozarena

Each and every time Randy Arozarena appears on a national broadcast, the Rays 28-year-old superstar takes over the airwaves with his acrobatic play and love for the game. Arozarena, who became a Mexican citizen in early 2023, is a true highlight-reel on-and-off the field, whether it be in the postseason, the World Baseball Classic, or during any regular season contest.

Mexico’s Randy Arozarena steals a home run away from Japan in WBC Semifinal Game – Image Credit: World Baseball Classic/MLB

So, with that being said, my prediction is Arozarena will lead the Derby in Home Runs after the first round, and once again, become the star of the night. 

Friendly Rivalry? Arozarena and García, both born in Cuba, became close during their time spent together with the St. Louis Cardinals minor league farm system. 

“I feel very happy to be able to compete with him,” Arozarena said this past Thursday through a translator. “He’s the godfather of my daughter. We’re obviously really good friends.” 

Adolis García, Yairo Muñoz and Randy Arozarena during their STL Cardinals minor league reign – Image Credit: St. Louis Cardinals/MILB

Arozarena added: “We’re going to try to share the victory, because we said if I lose to him that he’s going to win the derby, and if I beat him then I’m going to win the derby. So that’s how we’re going to share it. We’ll find out on Monday who won.”


(1) Luis Robert Jr. vs. (5) Randy Arozarena

Arozarena and Robert Jr., two of three Cuban-born players participating in the 2023 Derby along with Garcia, will go back-and-forth in a heated battle with baseballs leaving orbit!

Randy Arozarena – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

In the end, Arozarena will squeak past, perhaps by a single home run, and keep his momentum going into the Championship round. 

(6) Vladimir Guerrero Jr. vs. (7) Julio Rodríguez 

Vladdy Jr. vs. J-Rod — What a matchup for the Dominican Republic. With that much power and star-studded talent coming from both sides, I believe Guerrero Jr. and Rodríguez will be the most entertaining affair of the night and spark thoughts of what many already believe: MLB’s Home Run Derby is the most exciting All-Star event going in all of the four major professional sports leagues across North America. 

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Image Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

Although it would be nice to see the hometown favorite J-Rod advance, Guerrero Jr. is my pick by a slim margin. 


(5) Randy Arozarena vs. (6) Vladimir Guerrero Jr

The moment we’ve all been waiting for — the Championship round with Arozarena vs. Guerrero Jr. Nothing much better than this! AL East rivals, previous and potential-future LatinoMVP nominees, jawing for the HR Derby Crown… 

To start off the Championship round, Guerrero Jr. will keep his foot on the gas and get out to a comfortable-sized lead, but then, as the time winds down and the clutch moment arises with a sold-out Seattle crowd causing a frenzy — Arozarena will deliver and win the 2023 Home Run Derby by one homer. Randy Arozarena, this year’s Home Run Derby King? It has a ring to it already! 

Randy Arozarena – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

So, where do you fare? Do you agree? Will Arozarena head home with this year’s Home Run Derby Crown and Seattle-inspired Home Run Chain?

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports – Email:

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  1. Julio

    July 9, 2023 at 9:09 pm

    Excellent article. Congrats on the details of each player & mentioning those that have won the prestigious LatinoMVP award.
    BTW: Besides taking home the HR Derby Trophy I believe they also take home a nice $1 million dollars.

  2. Amarilys

    July 9, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    Le voy a Julio Rodriguez, ese gana el HR Derby!

  3. Mildred Martinez

    July 9, 2023 at 11:21 pm

    El Sonido Latino Presente, is sending congratulations to all the Latino’s that are participating in this game and the prediction is going to be Latino versus Latino winning at the end celebrating together as one happy family.🙌🏼 Keep up the great job that you all are doing making us all proud of you and keeping the Latinos in the forefront as winners 🗣️🏆🥇⚾️🏟️

  4. David Cardi

    July 10, 2023 at 11:17 am

    Pete Alonso gets my vote.

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