With the support of his home fans behind him, Todd Frazier belted 39 home runs – 15 in the final round – on his way to to the Home Run Derby championship Tuesday night in Cincinnati.
Major League Baseball made a few last-minute tweaks to the single-elimination tournament due to severe storms expected late Monday.
There were a couple openings and opportunities that I could have chased, but after praying about it, I feel like I am in the right spot for now.
In the finals, Frazier faced off with Dodgers’ slugger Joc Pederson, owner of the night’s longest homer at 487 feet. He then hit three in rapid-fire succession but called his time-out at 2:35 sitting at five home runs. In this event, at least, they made for compelling viewing. It was the most-viewed Derby since 2009.
The timed format was also great because it put the pressure on the pitchers. It’s that being on the clock causes the players to swing at everything.
Pederson also had the longest home run of the night at 487 feet.
With his brother, Charlie, pitching to him, the Toms River native thrilled his baseball hometown with a dramatic win in the revamped All-Star event. This was key, because as players were swinging the bat, they did deserve some time to catch their breath. “Americans love buzzer beaters, as much as anything in sports”.
“Bringing this hardware home is something I’ve always wanted to do”, Frazier said.
“It seems like it’s going fast, but it really isn’t”, Frazier said of the new format. It was like a soccer crowd in Europe. It will be interesting to see whether or not Frazier will participate in the derby in the future after winning it on his home field. That’s what I was told.
Not only that, Frazier is just the second player representing the home team in the history of the Home Run Derby to emerge victorious. “Hit the shed two points, and if you hit it in the pool, that was a deduction”.
“I still think of myself as an on-base guy”, Gardner said of his power numbers this season.
“I’m just happy he’s willing to review my status”.
The participants quickly found the optimal strategy wasn’t to pack as many swings into their four minutes as it was to make their swings count.
Pederson didn’t slow down either.
A year ago this week, Pederson, was preparing to play in the Triple-A All-Star Game. He has the added bonus of playing for the Cincinnati Reds, but even when Albert Pujols hit his walk-off, the crowd enjoyed it.
“That would mean a lot more”, Betances said. He averaged 425-feet per homer on Monday evening.