Round 1: Trey Mancini (6) vs. Matt Olson (3)
Seeded by total home runs, Mancini was given the sixth seed in the bracket, which lined him up to face Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson in round one. Olson is rightfully considered one of the best pure power hitters in baseball, holding the third-highest ISO among American League hitters to this point in the season.
As the very first batter of the night, Mancini would have to shake off any possible stage fright in order to defeat Olson and avoid being a first-round exit. Thankfully, the calm demeanor of Mancini is what came through at the plate, allowing him to mash just enough and skate by Matt Olson with a final score of 24-23.
Round 2: Trey Mancini (6) vs. Trevor Story (7)
In the second round of the derby, Mancini was tasked with facing Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. Throughout his run, Story had the hometown fans at Coors Field behind him, cheering him onto an upset victory over Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo in round one. His appearance in the derby may have been the last meaningful performance Story will have in a Rockies uniform as the team looks to move on from him at the trade deadline.
Being the higher seed, Mancini had the luxury of hitting second in this matchup, giving him an idea of how many home runs to aim for. A clearly-fatigued Story could muster just 12 home runs in his time at the plate, allowing Mancini to slug the 13 home runs needed to advance to the final round of the derby.
Round 3: Trey Mancini (6) vs. Pete Alonso (5)
For the final round, New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso would be Mancini’s opponent with the trophy at stake. In 2019, Alonso launched 53 home runs, setting the all-time rookie record and winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Alonso won the 2019 Home Run Derby and with the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the event in 2020, Alonso returned to defend his title in 2021.
Batting first under the abbreviated final round clock, Mancini got on a roll and was able to launch 22 home runs. However, it was clear nearly the entire night that the reigning champion was on a different level of competition. Alonso hit 17 home runs in the standard two minutes, followed by six consecutive swings good for home runs to open his bonus time that would bring Mancini’s run to its end. Alonso is now just the fourth player in MLB history to win the Home Run Derby twice.
Although the outcome wasn’t Mancini hoisting the trophy, his run to the final round of the derby joins John Means‘ no-hitter and Cedric Mullins‘ All-Star bid as yet another small part of this rebuilding season that Orioles fans can celebrate.