Frazier's Derby defense comes up just short

Frazier's Derby defense comes up just short

SAN DIEGO -- As Todd Frazier readied to follow Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the finals of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, he needed only to look down at his jersey for a reminder of the task at hand.

Frazier, who has worn No. 21 throughout his six-year career, was going to need that many home runs to stun Stanton, who had mashed 20 of his Derby-record 61 homers after being pitted against Frazier in Monday's final at Petco Park. Frazier fell short of the mark, with 13 homers, keeping him from joining Yoenis Cespedes (2013-14) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) as the only players in Derby history to win the title in consecutive years.

Frazier earned his first Derby title last summer representing the host Cincinnati Reds.

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Frazier advances to final round

"[Stanton] was hitting moonshots," marveled Frazier afterward. "I thought I was a high school hitter compared to him hitting them that far. I said it was going to be one of the most epic home run battles, and I think it really stepped up to the name."

Frazier's 13 final-round homers

Fittingly, the two players to advance to this year's finals were also the only two participants who traveled to San Diego solely for the Derby competition. Neither was named to an All-Star team. Though he had already competed in the Home Run Derby each of the past two seasons, Frazier never considered passing up another invitation.

"If you're lucky enough to play this game, you live with no regrets," Frazier said. "When I'm done playing, I want to look back and say I did mostly everything. That's one I want to do every year if I get the chance."

Frazier's 448-foot tater

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Before being outhomered by Stanton on Monday, Frazier, who once again chose his brother Charlie to be his pitcher, knocked out Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez and former Cincinnati teammate Adam Duvall. In both duels, Frazier had the benefit of slugging last.

He topped Gonzalez's dozen home runs by blasting his 13th with 13 seconds left in his four-minute round. Frazier's longest homer in the first round traveled 448 feet, per Statcast™, and he averaged an exit velocity of 104 mph on his blasts.

Frazier, seeded second in the Derby, then advanced to face Duvall, who set the target with 15 semifinal home runs. Frazier topped it with plenty of time to spare by closing with four home runs on his final five swings. The home run that pushed him back into the finals -- a 347-foot line drive over the left field wall -- was also his shortest of the night.

Frazier's two 445-foot homers

Frazier believed Stanton's total was in reach until time started winding down and he realized he hadn't hit his homers far enough to receive bonus time. Players were given 30 seconds of extra time if they tallied two 440-plus foot homers. That forced Frazier to change his approach. It wouldn't be enough.

"I was swinging too hard instead of just meeting the ball and hitting it out," he said. "He was hitting epic ones. I was just trying to get to 440 [feet]. He deserves it. He put on a great show, and I hope everybody enjoyed it."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.