Jones is facing off against Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes, the defending champion. Toronto’s Jose Bautista, the team captain who extended the invitation to Jones, received a bye after launching 10 home runs.
Bautista will square off against Jones or Cespedes in the third round.
Jones hit four home runs in the first round, the longest measured at 426 feet.
The measurements are open to criticism. Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton reached the third deck in center field and was credited with a 400-foot shot. I guess he needed to bounce one off the hotel a few blocks away to be marked down for 500.
Jones’ other homers were measured at 354, 395 and 370 feet.
New Orioles bullpen catcher Jett Ruiz pitched to Jones, who was more selective than I anticipated when he accepted the invitation.
The Derby format has been tweaked this year, which explains why Bautista has a bye and Jones is competing directly against Cespedes.
Jones is trying to join Cal Ripken Jr. (1991) and Miguel Tejada (2004) as Derby winners for the Orioles.
The Derby was delayed about 30 minutes by rain, which should make Jones feel right at home.
Updated: Jones was eliminated in the second round.
Cespedes hit nine home runs and Jones hit three, a couple of his shots barely hooking foul.