Pederson to take part in Home Run Derby

Dodgers roookie one of four first-time participants

Pederson to take part in Home Run Derby

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers rookie outfielder Joc Pederson will participate in the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders and he's taking Johnny Washington with him.

Washington, currently a coach at Triple-A Oklahoma City and Pederson's hitting coach at Rookie League in Ogden, will be his pitcher. Washington played seven Minor League seasons without advancing beyond Class A, but as a coach he helped Pederson reach the Major Leagues.

"He always said, 'When you're in a Home Run Derby, let me throw to you' -- since rookie ball," said Pederson. "It seemed farfetched at the time. It's crazy to see how things happen so fast. He's been with me since day one, it's only appropriate he should share in it."

This year's Derby will introduce a new streamlined format featuring brackets and timed rounds. Brackets in the first round were seeded based on 2015 home run totals through Tuesday's games.

Pederson will be matched with Baltimore's Manny Machado in the first round with the winner facing the winner of Kris Bryant vs. Albert Pujols. Other competitors in the Home Run Derby are Josh Donaldson, Prince Fielder, Todd Frazier and Anthony Rizzo.

"Just to be part of the Home Run Derby, you dream about it as a little kid," said Pederson. "I remember Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey. It's a special event. The most impressive might have been Josh Hamilton in New York one year, it was kind of unreal what he did."

Pederson on Monday was added to the National League club for the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile, to be played Tuesday in Cincinnati. The Home Run Derby will be held Monday night and televised live on and ESPN.

Yasiel Puig represented the Dodgers in last year's Home Run Derby and was shut out.

The top four players in the field are among the Major Leagues' 10 leading home run hitters this year. Pujols, who ranks eighth all-time with a total of 50 Derby home runs, joins Frazier, Donaldson and Fielder -- one of just three players (Ken Griffey Jr. and Yoenis Cespedes are the others) to win multiple Derbys -- as returning participants.

Fielder, who won the Derby in 2009 and '12, will be looking to tie Griffey for the all-time lead in Derby titles with three. Bryant (12 homers), Pederson (20), Rizzo (16) and Machado (19) are the first-timers, while Donaldson (21) and Frazier (25) are both back after participating last season in Minneapolis.

MLB's groundbreaking Statcast™ technology will provide the official measurement of all Derby homers, and this year's field features players who've hit some of the season's longest blasts. Donaldson hit the season's second-longest homer of the year back on April 23 against Chris Tillman, which was projected by Statcast™ to travel 481 feet. Bryant's 477 foot blast on May 26 off Aaron Barrett comes in at seventh longest, while Pederson's 477 foot rocket on June 2 off Jorge de La Rosa ranks eighth.

Video: LAD@COL: Pederson crushes a two-run homer to center

Beginning in the first and continuing through the third and final round, the loser of each head-to-head matchup will be eliminated, while the winner advances to the next round. Each batter will have five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible, with a timer starting with the release of the first pitch. Any home run hit within one minute remaining will stop the timer immediately when the ball lands in home run territory. The timer will then not start again until the batter hits a ball that does not land in home run territory or swings and misses at a pitch.

Additionally, batters can be awarded bonus time based on home run length: If a batter hits two homers during a turn that equal or exceed 420 feet, one minute of bonus time will be added. For every home run of at least 475 feet, 30 seconds will be added. Players can earn a total of one minute and 30 seconds of bonus time.

Ties in any round will be broken by a 90-second swing-off, with no stoppage of time or additional time added. If the batters remain tied, they will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner. At any time the second batter eclipses the first batter's total, that round's matchup will end and the second batter will advance.

Each batter also gets one "time out" per round.

The 86th All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.