Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, now teammates talk at the 2010 Home Run Derby. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

MLB introduces new rules for Home Run Derby

June 29, 2015 - 9:21 am

The MLB announced changes to its Home Run Derby format on Sunday, nixing the 10-out set up and installing a five-minute timer for each batter. Balls hit within the field of play will no longer be counted as outs. One of the primary reasons for the clocked rounds is time-certainty, a major advantage for television purposes. The timer will begin counting down once the first pitch is released. Any home run hit during the final minute will stop the timer, which will then resume once a player swings and misses or hits a ball that does not land in home run territory. Additionally, the Derby will seed the eight-man field according to 2015 home run totals through June 7, with the better seed batting second in each round. The winners of each bracket will meet in the final. As an incentive for long homers, batters will receive a minute of bonus time if at least two balls in a round equal or exceed 420 feet and balls hit further than 475 feet will merit 30 seconds of extra time. Ties will be broken by a 90-second swing-off and if the batters remain tied, they will enter a three-swing swing-off. This year's Home Run Derby is scheduled for July 13 at Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark, a slugger's paradise.