MLB Home Run Derby Winners Since 1985

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The Home Run Derby is one of the hallmark events of All-Star week each summer, and for good reason — it’s one helluva show. That’s especially the case when you look back at the older MLB Home Run Derby winners and how little it used to take to win. 

MLB Home Run Derby Winners

As we can see, the Home Run Derby has been taking place since 1985 and hasn’t happened in just two different instances. The most recent occurrence was in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic and the shortened MLB season that resulted from it. The other happened in 1988 because it was washed out due to rain. 

Below, you’ll see the winner of each derby, the location of it, what the general format of the competition was, and who hit how many home runs. If the format didn’t change from the previous year, we won’t address it again. Don’t forget to also check out some of the craziest single-round performances in Derby history, as well. 

1985: Dave Parker, Reds

Location: Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN

Format: While there was a singular winner crowned, this was a contest between both leagues, with an equal number of hitters representing the National League and American League. Hitters received two turns in the batter’s box, getting five outs each (any batted ball that didn’t result in a dinger was considered an out). 

Results: 

Related: The Most Home Runs All-Time in MLB History

1986: Wally Joyner (Angels), Darryl Strawberry (Mets)

Location: Astrodome in Houston, TX

Results:

1987: Andre Dawson, Cubs

Location: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CA

Results:

1988: Cancelled because of rain

Can you imagine the Home Run Derby getting rained out with no plan to be rescheduled in today’s game? Yea, me neither. 

1989: Ruben Sierra (Rangers), Eric Davis (Reds)

Location: Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, CA

Results:

Related: Top-10 Performances in Home Run Derby History

1990: Ryne Sandberg, Cubs

Location: Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL

Results:

1991: Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles

Location: SkyDome in Toronto, Canada

Format: Hitters were given three rounds of 10 outs to try and hit as many homers as possible. After Round 1, the top four players would move on. After Round 2, the top two would battle it out for the title. 

Results:

1992: Mark McGwire, Athletics

Location: Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, CA

Results:

1993: Juan Gonzalez, Rangers

Location: Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD

Results:

1994: Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners

Location: Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA

Results:

Related: MLB Home Run Leaderboards for Each Team

1995: Frank Thomas, White Sox

Location: The Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, TX 

Results:

1996: Barry Bonds, Giants

Location: Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, PA

Results:

Related: Milestone Ken Griffey Jr. Home Runs Through The Years

1997: Tino Martinez, Yankees

Location: Jacobs Field in Cleveland, OH

Results:

1998: Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners

Location: Coors Field in Denver, CO

Results:

1999: Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners

Location: Fenway Park in Boston, MA

Results:

Related: Milestone Albert Pujols Home Runs Through The Years

2000: Sammy Sosa, Cubs

Location: Turner Field in Atlanta, GA

Format: Hitters were given 10 outs per round, but after the first round was completed, the four players who advanced were then put into a seeded bracket, with the winners of each matchup facing off in the finals. 

Results:

2001: Luis Gonzalez, Diamondbacks

Location: Safeco Field in Seattle, WA

Results:

2002: Jason Giambi, Yankees

Location: Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI

Results:

2003: Garret Anderson, Angels

Location: U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, IL

Results:

2004: Miguel Tejada, Orioles

Location: Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX

Format: Hitters were given 10 outs per round, with the top four advancing to the second round. The top two from the second round faced off in the finals. 

Results:

Related: 10 Longest Home Runs of the 2021 Season

2005: Bobby Abreu, Phillies

Location: Comerica Park in Detroit, MI

Format: Hitters were given 10 outs per round, with the top four advancing to the second round. The top two from the second round faced off in the finals. To honor the inaugural World Baseball Classic coming in 2006, Players represented seven different nations (Venezuela, Panama, Dominican Republic, South Korea, Netherlands, United States, Canada) and Puerto Rico. 

Results:

2006: Ryan Howard, Phillies

Location: PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA

Format: Round-by-round totals were no more, and total home runs were used in its place. So, the top four hitters from the first round advanced to the semifinals, but their homer total from that first round came with them. From there, the two players with the most total home runs faced off in the finals, which is when the totals were wiped clean and the player who slugged the most dingers was crowned champion. 

Results:

Related: Chronicling Kyle Schwarber’s Leadoff Home Runs

2007: Vladimir Guerrero, Angels

Location: AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA

Results:

2008: Justin Morneau, Twins

Location: Yankee Stadium in New York, NY

Results:

2009: Prince Fielder, Brewers

Location: Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO

Results:

Related: Milestone Miguel Cabrera Home Runs Through The Years

2010: David Ortiz, Red Sox

Location: Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA

Results:

2011: Robinson Cano, Yankees

Location: Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ 

Results:

2012: Prince Fielder, Tigers

Location: Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO

Results:

Related: MLB Players With the Most Home Runs in a Postseason

2013: Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics

Location: Citi Field in New York, NY

Results:

2014: Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics

Location: Target Field in Minneapolis, MN

Format: A bracket format was used for this MLB home run derby, which gave extra incentive to the top home-run hitter in each league during the first round. Whoever came out on top for the AL and NL All-Stars (it was Jose Bautista and Giancarlo Stanton, in this case), were given a second-round bye and an entry directly into the semifinals. 

Results:

Related: The Most Home Runs in Each Season, From 2013-2021

2015: Todd Frazier, Reds

Location: Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, OH

Format: The eight participants (four from each league) were put into a bracket to go head-to-head against someone from the opposite league. Instead of getting 10 outs per round, a five-minute clock was used. Homers stopped the clock, non-homers restarted the clock, and hitters were awarded with bonus time for extra-long dingers. 

Results:

2016: Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins

Location: Petco Park in San Diego, CA

Results:

Related: Every MLB Player With Four Home Runs in a Game

2017: Aaron Judge, Yankees

Location: Marlins Park in Miami, FL

Results:

2018: Bryce Harper, Nationals

Location: Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Results:

Related: Pete Alonso Home Runs Through The Years

2019: Pete Alonso, Mets

Location: Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH

Format: The eight participants were put into a bracket for a head-to-head matchup. Instead of getting 10 outs per round, a five-minute clock was used. Homers stopped the clock, non-homers restarted the clock, and hitters were awarded with bonus time for extra-long dingers. MLB also added a $1 million prize for the winner.

Results:

2020: Cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic 

2021: Pete Alonso, Mets

Location: Coors Field in Denver, CO

Format: The eight participants were put into a bracket for a head-to-head matchup, and seeding was determined by how many homers they had hit so far during the regular season. The time limit was changed to three minutes with a bonus of 30 seconds. Another 30-second bonus was added (giving a player one total minute extra) if they hit a home run 475-plus feet during their first three minutes. There is one additional minute added if there is a tie, and if the tie remains after that, each hitter gets three swings. 

Results:

2022: Juan Soto, Nationals

Location: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA

Format: Eight participants were put into a bracket for a head-to-head matchup. Seeding was determined by how many first-half homers they hit. Hitters received three-minute timed at-bats in the first two rounds (two-minute at-bats in the finals). Each slugger was allowed to use one 45-second timeout. If they slugged at least two homers 440-plus feet, they earned 30 seconds of bonus time in addition to the 30 seconds everyone gets at the end of each round. Two tiebreakers are in place. The first is a one-minute at-bat to hit as many homers as possible. If both players are still tied, they have a Swing-Off, where they get three swings a piece to see if the tie can be broken.

Results: 

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