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Harper thrills crowd with Home Run Derby win

Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper emerged as the winner of the 2018 Home Run Derby. (AP)

On a night filled with majestic moonshots, Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper put on the best show. Harper obliterated baseballs — and his competition — to win the 2018 Home Run Derby.

Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy in the first two rounds before topping Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber in an epic final round, 19 homers to 18. Harper hit 45 home runs total during the event.

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Best matchup of the 2018 Home Run Derby

It may have lacked star power, but the 2018 Home Run Derby didn’t lack drama or excitement. There were so many terrific matchups throughout the event, aside from the thrilling final round. The second round battle between Kyle Schwarber and Rhy Hoskins proved to be the best on the undercard, as Schwarber mounted an amazing comeback with 21 home runs. He even added a bat flip for emphasis on his walk-off swing.

Javier Báez in walk-off fashion in the first round was thrilling too. Báez was a popular pick among fans, and didn’t disappoint at all with his strong showing. However, Muncy added to his incredible underdog story by battling back to advance.

The Schwarber-Bregman first round battle was a lot of fun because of the drama and the clashing styles. Schwarber took his time while launching 16 skyscrapers. Bregman, on the other hand, worked faster while hitting 15 wallscrapers. Unlike Schwarber, he didn’t earn the extra time for hitting at least two 440-foot home runs, and that cost him.

Best moment of the 2018 Home Run Derby

Alex Bregman lost an epic first round battle to Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber, the Houston Astros stole the show.

George Springer, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Jose Altuve weren’t just supportive teammates, they were the ultimate cheering section, jumping up and down with every home run and rallying around him during a timeout when he needed an extra boost.

Bregman was one of the surprises of the event, blasting 15 home runs during his fast-paced first round. Unfortunately, he ran into home run-hitting machine in Schwarber, who bested him with 16.

Most disappointing performance in the 2018 Home Run Derby?

Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar earned the No. 1 seed with his breakout first half. Aguilar entered with 24 homers, good for the most in the National League and the most among 2018 Home Run Derby participants. Unfortunately, he only managed 12 in his first-round loss to Rhy Hoskins, which tied Freddie Freeman for the lowest total.

Where is the Home Run Derby next season?

In 2019, the All-Star festivities will move to Progressive Field in Cleveland. Hopefully that will be enough to entice Cleveland Indians stars Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor to partcipate in the Home Run Derby. It’s always more fun when the hometown team is represented. Both All-Stars would also greatly boost the event’s star power.

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