Mets' Pete Alonso was quick to accept 2021 Home Run Derby invite: 'I had so much fun during the first one'

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Pete Alonso screams after blasting home run in 2019 Home Run Derby
Pete Alonso screams after blasting home run in 2019 Home Run Derby

When Mets slugger Pete Alonso was approached to defend his 2019 Home Run Derby title, it was an easy decision.

“I had so much fun during the first one, so I was like, ‘You know what? Let’s do it again,’” he told reporters on Wednesday via Zoom. “I just had a blast. It’s a really special moment and as long as I have an opportunity to do it, I want to do it. Because it’s something I always dreamt about as a kid.

“It was a dream come true.”

This year, the Derby will take place at the extremely hitter-friendly Coors Field in Denver, where baseballs fly into the stands with ease compared to other parks due to the high altitude.

“I know a lot of guys get affected by the high altitude,” Alonso said. “But, for me, I love it out in Colorado. I usually spend some time out west in the offseason, so I know what the altitude’s going to be like. I’ll be ready to compete and hopefully take another chain home.”

To keep that Derby chain around his neck instead of passing it off, Alonso said he isn’t going to change anything about his routine at the plate. He will, however, have a new pitcher: Instead of his cousin, Mets bench coach Dave Jauss will be out there with him.

“My plan worked and the biggest thing was to conserve as much energy as possible,” he said. “Rest up, don’t take any extra swings because it’s a long day of swinging. People forget about not just the swings you take in the Derby, but the warmup swings and then the BP during the workout that day. So it’s a lot of swings. I forget how many swings I took that day, but I probably took over 600-700 swings that day.

“For me, less is more and the more I can conserve my energy, the better.”

As for his opponents, only Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani has announced he will be participating, and Alonso couldn’t be happier for the Japanese superstar.

“He’s definitely fitting to do it and that’s for sure. He’s got stupid juice,” Alonso said. “He can hit it over the wall at pretty much any yard, so it will be fun.”

Alonso also seems to know who will fill out the rest of the field, but won’t release any names other than saying “it’s going to be a star-studded Derby.”

“It’s going to be a lot of fun. There’s no curiosity about it. I just know it’s going to be a hell of a time.”

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