Reds slugger becomes second player to claim title in home ballpark
By Roger Schlueter
Special to MLB.com |
Here are four interesting items from the Home Run Derby …
• In the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at Great American Ball Park, Todd Frazier's 39th home run of the evening made him the champion. Frazier defeated two-time champ Prince Fielder in the first round (14-13), got past Josh Donaldson in the semis (10-9) and then edged Joc Pederson in the final round (15-14). With the title, Frazier became the second player to win the Derby in his home ballpark. He joined Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg, who was the champ in 1990. Frazier became the third Reds player to capture the Derby crown, joining Dave Parker (1985) and Eric Davis (co-winner in '89, with Ruben Sierra).
• Looking ahead, the last player to win the Home Run Derby and then bash a home run in the All-Star Game was Garret Anderson, in 2003. It's been a long time since a Reds player homered in an All-Star Game, with Dave Concepcion hitting the last, in a 4-1 win for the National League in 1982. No Reds player has homered in a Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati.
• Derby runner-up Pederson entered the All-Star break with 20 home runs, 15 shy of matching Mike Piazza's single-season franchise rookie record. When Piazza hit his 35 in 1993, 18 of them came in the season's first half.
• Pederson's exceptional first half in 2015 has extended beyond the home run. The 23-year-old Dodgers outfielder has also collected 58 walks. He is only the fifth player in the All-Star era to be in an age-23 or younger season and enter the break with at least 20 roundtrippers and at least 58 free passes. Pederson joins Eddie Mathews and Mickey Mantle in 1955, Reggie Jackson in 1969 and Bryce Harper in 2015.
Roger Schlueter is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.