VIDEO: Ronald Acuna Jr. Narrowly Avoided Scary Moment During Home Run Derby

Larry Rupp
VIDEO: Ronald Acuna Jr. narrowly avoided a scary moment during the MLB Home Run Derby.
VIDEO: Ronald Acuna Jr. narrowly avoided a scary moment during the MLB Home Run Derby. / AP Photos/Mark J. Terrill

Eight of baseball's top power hitters went head-to-head during the 2022 Home Run Derby on Monday night. That includes Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who was feeling the heat well before his first round matchup against reigning champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.

Ronald Acuna Jr. Home Run Derby

The players were introduced prior to the festivities and asked to join on a makeshift stage out on the diamond. Behind the stage was four columns that acted as flamethrowers when each player's name was called. At one point, the pyrotechnics caught Acuna off guard and caused him to jump forward.

He wasn't the only one, either. Seattle's Julio Rodriguez, Cleveland's Jose Ramirez and Washington's Juan Soto all seemed surprised at the flames. Hannah Keyser and Zach Crizer of Yahoo Sports explained that the heat could be felt up in the press box and the smoke lingered for a few hours.

Thankfully, no one was hurt and the derby went on as planned. Acuna was eliminated in the first round when Alonso bested his total of 19 home runs by hitting 20. It was Soto that would be the last one standing, though. He earned his first derby title by defeating Rodriguez in the finals, 19-18.

Acuna will hit in the leadoff spot for the National League during the 2022 MLB All-Star Game at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday night. The game is set as a near pick 'em, with the NL having -110 odds on the moneyline and the AL having -106 odds, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The total is set at 7.5.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.