Frazier adds hometown flavor to Derby

Third baseman to face two-time champ Fielder in opening round

Frazier adds hometown flavor to Derby

WASHINGTON -- Reds third baseman Todd Frazier has long stated his preference to participate and on Wednesday, it became official. Frazier will be a contestant in the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders when it is held at his home yard of Great American Ball Park.

Joining Frazier from the host team, are two-time champion Prince Fielder of the Rangers, Cubs players Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, Albert Pujols of the Angels, Joc Pederson of the Dodgers, Josh Donaldson from the Blue Jays and Manny Machado from the Orioles.

"I'm ecstatic," Frazier said. "It's good for the town and good for me again to get back out there. It's my second time around. So the nerves won't be as much. I will be a little more focused this year and trying to win this thing, especially in my hometown."

• 2015 HR Derby contestants announced

In the 2014 Derby at Target Field in Minneapolis as a first-time participant, Frazier was the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes. The format last year was National League vs. American League, but that is changing.

For the first time this year, the Derby will have a streamlined format featuring brackets and timed rounds. Brackets in the first round were seeded based on 2015 home run totals through Tuesday's games.

In his first-round matchup, Frazier is the No. 2 seed and will face the No. 7 seed Fielder. The other matchups have Pujols (No. 1) vs. Bryant (No. 8); Donaldson (No. 3) vs. Rizzo (No. 6); and Pederson (No. 4) vs. Machado (No. 5).

In 81 games this season, Frazier is batting .281/.338/.590 with 25 home runs and 55 RBIs. Fifteen of his homers have come playing at home.

Frazier liked his chances, and thought there might be a home-field advantage for him at Great American Ball Park.

"I do in a way," Frazier said. "I can't give [the secrets] away but sometimes the winds play a certain factor. They'll see how I'm swinging and hopefully they don't try and hit that way. You got to have power either way. If you can hit for power, which all these guys can, it's going to be a lot of home runs. One advantage here or there can definitely help."

Frazier will become the 18th player from a host team to partake in the Derby.

MLB's groundbreaking Statcast™ technology will provide the official measurement of all Derby homers, and this year's field features players who've hit some of the season's longest blasts. Donaldson hit the season's second-longest homer of the year back on April 23 against Chris Tillman, which was projected by Statcast™ to travel 481 feet. Bryant's 477 foot blast on May 26 off Aaron Barrett comes in at seventh longest, while Pederson's 477 foot rocket on June 2 off Jorge de La Rosa ranks eighth.

The Derby will be televised live by ESPN and MLB.com.

The 86th All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.