Only 13 collegiate stars have gone on to take first place in the MLB Home Run Derby since the All-Star weekend event was introduced in 1985. The most recent to do so was Florida product Pete Alonso, who won the 2021 event at Coors Field in Denver with the New York Mets. It was his second consecutive derby win, becoming the first former college baseball player to achieve the feat.
Before Alonso, only two MLB players in history had successfully defended their Home Run Derby title — Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Cespedes (2013-14).
Let's take a look back at the complete list of former college baseball players to lift the trophy:
|YEAR||PLAYER||MLB TEAM||COLLEGE||CAREER MLB HRS||CAREER NCAA HRS|
|1986||Wally Joyner*||California Angels||BYU (1981-83)||204||43|
|1987||Andre Dawson||Chicago Cubs||Florida A&M (1973-75)||438||Stats N/A|
|1992||Mark McGwire||Oakland Athletics||USC (1982-84)||583||53|
|1995||Frank Thomas||Chicago White Sox||Auburn (1987-89)||521||49|
|1996||Barry Bonds||San Francisco Giants||Arizona State (1983-85)||762||45|
|1997||Tino Martinez||New York Yankees||Tampa (1986-88)||339||54|
|2001||Luis Gonzalez||Arizona Diamondbacks||South Alabama (1987-88)||354||23|
|2002||Jason Giambi||New York Yankees||Long Beach State (1990-92)||440||1992 stats N/A|
|2006||Ryan Howard||Philadelphia Phillies||Missouri State (1998-01)||382||50|
|2015||Todd Frazier||Cincinnati Reds||Rutgers (2005-07)||218||42|
|2017||Aaron Judge||New York Yankees||Fresno State (2011-13)||239**||18|
|2018||Bryce Harper||Washington Nationals||College of Southern Nevada (NJCAA)# (2010)||288**||31|
|2019, 2021||Pete Alonso||New York Mets||Florida (2014-16)||172**||23|
- #Junior College
- *Denotes that player was a co-winner
- ** Denotes active total
That's 12 different winners spread out across nine different conferences and two divisions in the NCAA — Dawson played for Florida A&M back when the Rattlers played in Division II — with another from junior college (Harper). The only two NCAA conferences with more than one representative is the Pac-12 (McGwire, Bonds) and the SEC (Frank Thomas and Pete Alonso).