Cincinnati Reds’ third baseman Todd Frazier may not have been voted to start in Tuesday night’s All-Star game at Target Field in Minnesota, but he was selected by Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday night. Frazier will face stiff competition from the other participants, but Derby rules changes could play in to the final outcome when the sluggers tee it up.
As explained by Mark Newman at MLB.com, the contest will play out as follows:
- In Round 1, each of the 10 participants will have seven outs to hit as many homers as possible.
- The winner of Round 1 from each league will advance directly to Round 3.
- The players with the second and third most homers in Round 1 from each league will face off against each other in Round 2.
- The winners of Round 2 will meet their league’s Round 1 winner in Round 3.
- The Round 3 winners (one from the AL and one from the NL) will square off in the finale.
The new format would seem to favor the real mashers in the contest, like Giancarlo Stanton and Yoenis Cespedes more than the consistent Frazier. In particular, if one of the big boppers really goes off in the first round, he will get a breather before he hast to go back out there for another session. On the other hand, if one of the guys who hits before Frazier in the first round puts up big numbers, Cincinnati’s All-Star won’t necessarily have to kill himself trying to keep up. Finishing third in his league will get him through to Round 2, so he could probably leave a bit in the tank.
In all, the National League lineup of sluggers includes Tulowitzki, Stanton, Frazier, Justin Morneau, and Yasiel Puig. Although this will be a homecoming of sorts for Morneau, who spent most of his superstar career with the Minnesota Twins, Frazier has a good chance of out-homering the Colorado Rockies’ first baseman. Given the firepower of the the other NL participants, though, it might be tough for Frazier to squeeze into the second round.
My prediction is that Frazier will give it a good go, but will ultimately bow out after Round 1. But, hey, it’s the Home Run derby, and almost anything can happen!
The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast on ESPN from Target Field in Minnesota at 8 pm ET on Monday, July 14.