What seemed like a mere formality is now official.

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton will indeed defend his Home Run Derby crown this year. The announcement was made Sunday:

The 2017 Home Run Derby will be played at Marlins Park on Monday, July 10. Bringing back the hometown player to defend his title was an absolute no-brainer for MLB, and I'm certain Stanton is eager to defend his title at home. Plus, you know, Stanton is one of the game's top power hitters. Everyone wants to see him in the Home Run Derby.

Two years ago the Home Run Derby format was changed to timed head-to-head rounds. Stanton launched a record 61 home runs en route to winning last year's Home Run Derby at San Diego's Petco Park:

The other seven Home Run Derby participants have not yet been announced. Yankees masher Aaron Judge did, however, confirm he has received an invitation. He has yet to decide whether he will participate.