BALTIMORE — The rules for the 2024 Home Run Derby have been altered significantly, with some of the changes designed to reduce the frantic pace that has concerned past participants.

Within each player’s timed round, the hitter will see a maximum of 40 pitches — similar to how there is a maximum number of basketballs shot in the NBA 3-point contest. This will place a greater premium on efficiency between the batting practice pitchers and the hitters.

Since the Derby moved to a timed format in 2015, the rounds of swings have often shifted into a race of the hitter and pitcher trying to get through as many swings as possible. In last year’s Derby, all of the participants averaged more than 43 swings per round.

Some past participants have spoken about how exhausting the event has become, and have privately fretted about what they perceive to be a heightened risk for injury because of the accelerated pace, which is not typical for hitters taking batting practice.

The hitters will have three minutes in each of the first two rounds, and two minutes in the championship round.

Also, the bonus time for each hitter will no longer be clocked. Instead, the hitter will continue until he’s made three outs — a swing that generates a result other than a home run. A fourth out can be earned with a 425-foot home run in the bonus time. This change will allow for an unlimited number of home runs in the bonus period, meaning that a hitter who is behind will always have a chance to make up a deficit.

Additionally, the first round will no longer be a head-to-head bracket. Instead, the top four first-round scores from the eight hitters will advance to the semifinal bracket, with ties broken by the longest home run in the first round.

Toronto‘s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. won the 2023 Home Run Derby in Seattle. He and his father are the first father-son duo to win the Derby, which is typically among the highest-rated MLB events every year.

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson became the first player to publicly commit to participating in the 2024 Home Run Derby at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on July 15, making the announcement himself during Sunday Night Baseball. Henderson is among the MLB home run leaders with 26.