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Derby to feature bracketed play as part of new format

Derby to feature bracketed play as part of new format play video for Derby to feature bracketed play as part of new format

NEW YORK -- When the 20th annual Gillette Home Run Derby returns to Minnesota during All-Star Week on July 14 at Target Field at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, it will break new ground. Major League Baseball on Monday announced a new format for the Derby, featuring 10 players who will get seven outs per round, with bracketed play after the first round.

Five players from each league will bat in the opening round, with seven outs instead of the previous 10. The player who hits the most homers in each league will automatically receive a bye to the third round (semifinals). The next two players from each league with the most homers will square off against one another in a head-to-head matchup in the second round.

The winners of these matchups will advance to the third round to compete against the league's top seed. The final round will feature the winners of the American and National League semifinals going head-to-head to determine the winner of the event, won last year at Citi Field by Yoenis Cespedes of the A's.

It means a player who has an unconscious first round -- and thus a serious workout -- will have a nice breather by sitting out the second round.

Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays and Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies were named captains of the AL and NL, respectively, on Monday. They will each determine the other four participants on their teams and will personally extend the invitations.

You can still have a say in determining the participants. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian also features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Select up to three candidates in each league, and the final results will be considered as the captains determine the field in consultation with MLB.

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There is another important part of the captain duty. The Gillette Home Run Derby will again raise funds for MLB's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as charities selected by the captains. More than $3 million has been raised for charity over the past 10 years, including an all-time high of $615,000 donated in 2012.

MLB.com Home Run Derby is a great way to get caught up in the action right now, with Target Field as the setting. Join millions who are playing this all-new game, which is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. New for 2014 is Multiplayer Derby Mode, Achievements and Objectives.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally on July 15 by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

2014 GILLETTE HOME RUN DERBY FORMAT

Round 1

  • Ten participants total; five participants representing each league.
  • Batting order will be determined prior to the event. Hitter No. 1 for the NL will hit first followed by Hitter No. 1 for the AL (home team). This order will continue for hitters Nos. 2-5 for each league, with the NL going first followed by the AL.
  • Each participant will receive seven outs.
  • The player from each league who hits the most home runs (AL 1; NL 1) will automatically advance to round three (semifinals).
  • The next two participants with the most home runs from each league (AL 2; AL 3 / NL 2; NL 3) advance to Round 2.

Round 2

  • The two participants advancing from Round 1 for each league will compete against each other (AL 2 vs. AL 3 / NL 2 vs. NL 3).
  • The NL matchup will occur first, followed by the AL matchup, with NL 2 and AL 2 choosing if they want to hit first or second.
  • Each participant will receive seven outs.
  • The winners from the Round 2 matchups (one from each league) will advance to Round 3 (semifinals).

Round 3 (Semifinals)

  • The top seed from each league (AL 1; NL 1) will face the winner from his league's Round 2 matchup.
  • The NL matchup will occur first, followed by the AL matchup, with NL 1 and AL 1 choosing if they want to hit first or second.
  • Each participant will receive seven outs.
  • The participant from each league with the most home runs will advance to the Finals.

Round 4 (Finals)

  • The semifinal winners (one player from each league) will compete for the crown of Home Run Derby champion.
  • The batting order will be determined by a coin flip, which will be held at a meeting at home plate between the two finalists and their league captains (note that a finalist and team captain could be the same participant).
  • Each finalist will receive seven outs.

Tiebreaker(s)

  • If two or more players are tied for advancement into the next round or for the championship, each player will receive three swings to hit as many home runs as possible. If they are still tied after three swings, they will each take one swing. This process is repeated if necessary until one player wins the swing-off.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["home_run_derby" ] }