Major League Baseball announced Sunday that the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby, to be held at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, will have a new format.
The eight-player contest will be conducted as a single-elimination tournament in which the loser of each bracket is immediately eliminated. Brackets in the first round will be seeded based on 2015 home run totals through July 7th, with ties broken by awarding the higher seed to the batter with more home runs hit since June 15th. If a tie remains, a coin flip will determine the higher seed. In each matchup, the higher seed will hit second.
During each of the three rounds, each batter will have five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible, and any swings that do not result in a home run will not be counted. Timers will count down from five minutes beginning with the release of the first pitch, and any home run hit after the timer reaches one minute remaining will stop the timer immediately when the ball lands in home run territory. The timer will not start again until the batter hits a ball that does not land in home run territory, or swings and misses at a pitch.
It's also noted that batters may be awarded bonus time during their turn based on the length of their home runs hit. For example, if a batter hits two home runs during a turn that each equal or exceed 420 feet, one minute of bonus time will be added. If one home run during a turn equals or exceeds 475 feet, 30 seconds of bonus time will be added. It is possible for a batter to earn a total bonus of one minute and 30 seconds.
If there's a tie in any round, there will be a 90-second swing off with no clock stoppage of bonuses awarded.
Finally, each hitter gets one timeout per round, which will last 45 seconds.
The 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby be held on July 13th.