When it comes to hitting dingers, we want to know one thing: who has hit the most all time home runs…regardless of the category. We’ve already sliced and diced all-time home run leaders in a number of different ways. Now, we’re bringing it to the Home Run Derby.
What’s glorious about the list below is that it’s likely to change from year to year. And those changes could be drastic thanks to sluggers finding a way to put on a good show. There are some interesting tidbits to point out about the group of sluggers we’ll be highlighting here, though.
Only three of the following 10 hitters on this list don’t have a Derby title to their name. There are three sluggers who have won the event on multiple occasions, and only one has never lost. Last, but most certainly not least, Ken Griffey Jr. is the only player who made Derby appearances before the 2000 season. He may not be in the top 10 for long, either.
Most All Time Home Runs in HR Derby History: Top 5
Pete Alonso (2019, 2021, 2022): 174 Home Runs
Pete Alonso is the slugger who has never lost an MLB Home Run Derby he’s participated in. There was obviously no Derby in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, after Alonso took home the honors in the midst of his record-breaking rookie season, he had to wait an extra year to defend his title.
He made the wait a worthwhile one, too. Alonso slugged 74 home runs en route to winning the event in 2021. The first baseman was invited to participate despite not making the NL All-Star team, and he immediately rewarded that decision by hitting 35 home runs in the first round.
Those 74 dingers are currently the second-most homers in a single Derby. It’s not like his 2019 performance was much worse, though. He slugged 57 homers in his first appearance, which is the sixth-most in a single Derby at the moment. He didn’t walk away with any hardware in 2022, but he added plenty to his all-time lead.
Albert Pujols (2003, 2007, 2009, 2015, 2022): 106 Home Runs
Albert Pujols will be joining Ortiz in the Hall of Fame in the near future. It’ll likely happen on the first ballot, too. The Machine has accomplished so much during his big-league career. One of his greatest talents has been hitting homers — one doesn’t land fifth on the all-time list for no reason, ya know.
But one accomplishment Pujols hasn’t achieved? That’d be winning a Home Run Derby title. As it turned out, the best shot he had was in his first appearance, which came in 2003. His 26 homers in that event were actually the most of any participant. However, Garret Anderson walked away with the title after hitting 22 total homers thanks to a 9-8 win in the finals at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
Pujols finished with double-digit homers in each of his other appearances and has never been ousted in the first round. He slugged 35 dingers in his farewell Derby appearance of 2022, but the only time he ever made it to the finals happened in 2003.
Joc Pederson (2015, 2019): 99 Home Runs
Joc Pederson is tied with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the most homers in a single round in Home Run Derby history. He hit 39 in the second round of the 2019 event. Despite the high number of homers he’s slugged, the left-hander is one of the three on this list without a Derby title on his mantle.
Pederson hit a total of 39 dingers in 2015 before throwing up 60 (!) in 2019. Obviously, 39 of those came in the second round, which still meant that he hit another 21 in the first round just to advance. He’s clearly got a knack for this event. Unfortunately for him in 2019, he had to go head-to-head with instant Derby darling, Vlad Jr. That certainly made for a good show, though.
Like any natural slugger, Joc’s power isn’t only reserved for the Derby. Entering 2022, he’s already posted four seasons of 20-plus homers since his first full campaign in 2015. One of those went for 30-plus — unsurprisingly, it was in 2019 when he hit 36. At the time of this writing, Pederson has 17 homers in just 209 plate appearances for the San Francisco Giants. Could another trip to the Derby be in the cards? Possibly. One thing that feels like a lock, though, is his fifth season of 20-plus homers.
Juan Soto (2021, 2022); 99 Home Runs
Juan Soto continues adding to his long list of accomplishments in MLB. After first appearing in the Derby during the 2021 All-Star break, he returned to win the event in 2022. He’s racked up nearly 100 homers along the way, which has immediately shot him up into a tie for the third-most home runs all-time in the event.
The one thing that’s been constant between Soto’s Home Run Derby appearances is he likes to hit the longest home run of the night. It’s not on purpose, but it’s starting to look that way.
Soto slugged a 520-foot moonshot at Coors Field in 2019, which was the longest homer ever tracked by Statcast. He followed that up by securing the longest homer of the night at Dodger Stadium, which was 482 feet. Bringing home the hardware made the 23-year-old the second-youngest player to do so. It seems as if he enjoys this event, so we can only hope to have many more years with Soto participating.
Todd Frazier (2014-16): 91 Home Runs
We’ve got a tie for third place between Todd Frazier, the pride of Toms River, New Jersey, and Vlad Jr. However, the manner in which they each got to this number is quite different.
For Frazier, he appeared in three straight Derbies from 2014 through 2016. The infielder only hit 10 dingers in his 2015 debut before slugging 39 and winning the 2015 title as a Red at Great American Ball Park. His performance got even better in 2016 by slugging 42 home runs, but his total was 19 dingers short of the winner. We’ll get to that guy in a little bit.
During the regular season, these three years were also the most powerful ones of Frazier’s career. He hit 29 in 2014, followed by 35 in 2015 and 40 in 2016. His averages during this span of time? That’d be 35 homers and 89 RBI with a .251/.316/.474 line across 2,004 plate appearances.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2019): 91 Home Runs
Ah, yes — the other half of this tie at third place. Guerrero Jr. differs from Frazier because he doesn’t have a Derby title (yet), and he only needed one event to compile 91 total dingers. That’s just mind-blowing to think about, isn’t it?
In the three rounds Vlad Jr. participated in, he never hit fewer than 20 homers. The first round of his Derby career included 29 home runs, which were a record for a short period of time. And then, of course, he followed that with 40 in the epic head-t0-head matchup with Pederson. The Blue Jays’ superstar then faced Alonso in the finals, losing 23-22 in walk-off fashion.
Guerrero earned a share of the American League home run crown in 2021 with Salvador Perez by hitting 48 dingers. However, he elected not to participate in the Derby, which made us very sad. Will he change his tune this year? We can hope so. If he wants to keep the similarities going with his father, he’ll have to eventually give us another show in the Derby. Vlad Sr. won the event in 2007.
Most All Time Home Runs in HR Derby History: The Rest
Giancarlo Stanton (2014, 2016-17): 83 Home Runs
If there were ever a baseball player built to participate in the Home Run Derby, Giancarlo Stanton would 100% be one of those dudes on my shortlist. I could watch this guy take batting practice every day for hours and never get bored. When he makes solid contact, it’s just a beautiful and jaw-dropping sight.
In two of Stanton’s Derby appearances (2014, 2017), he ended up leading the league in home runs. Of course, the 2017 season was his memorable NL MVP campaign. That year’s Home Run Derby preceded an insane month of August, which helped him complete one of the most powerful seasons in MLB history.
The right-handed slugger’s first taste of the Home Run Derby didn’t include too many moonshots, though. The 2014 event was the second straight win for Yoenis Cespedes, and Stanton left Target Field with just six homers to his name. He followed that up by returning to win it all in 2016 with 61 total dingers before adding another 16 in 2017. What’s interesting about that 2017 Derby was that each of the seven participants slugged at least 10 homers. Stanton’s 16 ranked just sixth, though, as the other five all hit 20-plus.
Prince Fielder (2007, 2009, 2011-13, 2015): 81 Home Runs
Going with the same theme as we did with Stanton, Prince Fielder is another slugger who was built for the Home Run Derby. I mean, when you’re hitting batting practice home runs at the old Tiger Stadium as a 12-year-old, this seems like the only possible result. We’re clearly not the only ones who thought this. The lone player on this list with more Derby appearances than Fielder’s six is Griffey, who we’ll get to in a little while.
Fielder formed a pattern with all of these appearances in the Derby, too. It was essentially a bad-appearance-followed-by-a-good-one. After hitting three in 2007, he followed it with 23 in 2009 (and won the title). That was followed by nine in 2011 before coming back and winning the title again with 28 total dingers. His last two appearances didn’t land any more trophies, but it was again a single-digit output (five in 2013) before finishing off his Derby career with a double-digit showing (13 in 2015).
It’s a shame Fielder’s career came to a premature end because of injuries. In 2015, he finished 13th in AL MVP voting after slashing .305/.378/.463 with 23 home runs and 98 RBI for the Rangers. The following season, he was forced to step away. Although that’s not what he wanted, the first baseman’s mark on the game is still visible. His 50 homers in 2007 remain a single-season record for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Julio Rodríguez (2022): 81 Home Runs
As if Julio Rodríguez already hadn’t done enough in his first Home Run Derby appearance, he also lands on this list. He joins Vlad Jr. as the only other slugger to be among the Derby’s all-time home run leaders after just one appearance (for now, at least).
It’s also interesting to contrast him between Fielder, who he is tied with, and David Ortiz, who he is just ahead of in these standings. Fielder needed six trips to the Derby to hit the same number of homers J-Rod hit in his first trip. Meanwhile, Big Papi participated in this event five times and is still short of what the Mariners’ rookie phenom did. That is incredibly impressive.
Rodríguez led off the entire 2022 event, and he did it with a bang. His 32 home runs were the second-most of any first-round performance in history. He followed that up with another 31 homers to defeat Alonso and move on to the finals. He became the first player to have multiple rounds of 30-plus dingers. Rodríguez not only did it in the same Derby, but he also did it in consecutive rounds. We can only hope he’ll continue to come back and participate.
David Ortiz (2004-06, 2010-11): 77 Home Runs
Before David Ortiz became a first-ballot Hall of Famer, the designated hitter added “Home Run Derby champion” to his long list of career accomplishments. It took him a while to get there, though. Big Papi was invited to three straight Derbies in 2004-06 because nobody was hitting homers more often than him. Literally.
During this three-season span, Ortiz slugged 142 home runs, which were the most in MLB. He also slashed .296/.397/.614 through 2,068 plate appearances during this time. His output in the Home Run Derby during this span didn’t quite match it, though. After hitting just three in 2004, he followed it up with 20 in 2005 and another 13 in 2006. After a few years off, Papi came back in 2010 on a mission to finally take home the title.
He did just that by slugging 32 total dingers. His final appearance came up short with nine homers in 2011, but Ortiz did what he had to do to take home the trophy once.
Ken Griffey Jr. (1990, 1992-94, 1997-00): 70 Home Runs
Griffey’s eight Derby appearances are easily the most among players highlighted here. When we look at the ratio of homers hit vs. events participated in, he’s on the lower portion of this list. But when it comes to swag points? He’s definitely at the top and gets OG status by paving the way for others to show off their personality during future events.
The sweet-swinging Hall of Famer distinguishes himself in a couple of other ways, too. He’s one of the few players here with multiple victories, including back-to-back wins in 1998 and 1999. However, Griffey is the only one here with three Derby wins (for the time being, at least). His yearly output also just goes to show how this event has changed over the years.
Griffey’s first appearance came in 1990 and he didn’t even hit a home run. He slugged seven homers in each of his next three appearances, with his first win coming on his fourth try. The outfielder hit just three in his return to the event in 1997 before putting on a show at Coors Field (19) and Fenway Park (16).
Bryce Harper (2013, 2018): 69 Home Runs
What were you doing as a 20-year-old? At that point in his life, Bryce Harper had already been in the big leagues, won a Rookie of the Year award, and had been selected to two All-Star Games. He then added an appearance in the Home Run Derby to his resume, and the outfielder looked totally comfortable in his surroundings. The 2013 event was the first of two straight wins for Cespedes, but Harper slugged 24 homers at Citi Field, which were the second-most out of anyone in the competition.
He once again hit the second-most overall home runs during his 2018 appearance in front of the home fans at Nationals Park. Only this time, won the title thanks to a 19-homer barrage in the final round against Kyle Schwarber.
Did that victory wake up his bat in the second half of the regular season? It certainly seemed like that’s what happened. He hit 23 homers with 54 RBI and a .214/.365/.468 line in 414 first-half plate appearances. Following the midsummer classic, Harper added 11 dingers and 46 RBI to go along with a .300/.434/.538 line in 281 trips to the plate.