Hometown Home Run Hitting Hero
Todd Frazier poses with the Home Run Derby trophy with his brother Charlie, who pitched to him on Monday night in Cincinnati. (Drew Casey: WFUV Sports)
CINCINNATI- Paint the town Red!
Reds third baseman Todd Frazier sent the "Queen City" into a sea of euphoria as he captured the 30th Home Run Derby on Monday night.
The odds were stacked against Frazier, who trailed Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson 14-5 with two minutes and 35 seconds remaining in the final round.
The Toms River, New Jersey native and Rutgers product was up to the challenge, tying Pederson and then winning in the thirty seconds of bonus time he earned for hitting at least two home runs equal to or greater than 420 feet in the final round.
"It was great [to win it]," Frazier said. "I knew I had bonus time. You take a peek at the scoreboard. I think I hit five over the 425 limit."
"I was hoping with the last 15 seconds to get one more," Frazier continued. "I ended up getting two to tie it. I knew it was basically over after that. I get 30 seconds. I get at least five, six swings. I'm going to get at least one."
He also credited some of his late round success, which led to three walk-off wins, to his hometown fans.
"Hearing the crowd roar, call my name, adrenaline," Frazier said when asked about the crowd's impact. "Those last minutes of each round really picked me up and [helped me] drive the ball out [of] the park a lot more."
Despite late format changes to the new look MLB Home Run Derby due to weather concerns, the modifications to the contest largely sat well with the players.
"It [the new format] made for a little more opportunity," Frazier said. "When you get the opportunity, you just have to hit it out, no matter where the ball's pitched. Felt like a little kid out there sometimes in the backyard swinging at everything. It was pretty cool."
In total, 151 home runs were hit at Great American Ballpark. Frazier and Pederson each hit 39 home runs total.
The first set of big fireworks on the night came from Frazier, who stepped to the plate after Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder belted 13 home runs. It was no problem for Frazier to surpass the mark as he answered with 14 to the roar of the hometown crowd.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and Pederson followed up the 14-13 display with an equally impressive 13-12 showing. Machado led off and seemed to surprise the crowd by belting 12 over the fence. Pederson, a rookie and first time Home Run Derby participant, did not seemed phased by the dozen as he smoothly belted 13 out of the park, some of which went to the opposite field.
The other first round results, included Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson over Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo 9-8 and Angels first baseman Albert Pujols taking out Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant 10-9 on a buzzer-beating blast.
The second round was filled with no less excitement as Frazier took down Donaldson 10-9 and Pederson edged Pujols 12-11. Pederson was the only competitior to take down his opponent after stepping to the plate first in a head-to-head matchup. The other six matchups were won by the second hitter to come to the plate.
This set up the final between Pederson and Frazier. It was clear the sell-out crowd was hoping that a hometown player would win the Derby for the second time ever.
They left satisfied.
To listen to Frazier's post Home Run Derby comments, please click play below.