Reds third baseman Todd Frazier won the 2015 MLB Home Run Derby at Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark on Monday, launching a combined 39 home runs and energizing his own fans with a series of last-second heroics.
Wielding a black bat engraved with the words “New Jersey's finest,” the Toms River, N.J. native hit the most home runs of any of the eight contestants in the competition's first round. He bested his opening opponent, Texas Rangers third baseman Prince Fielder, 14–13, breaking a 13-all tie during the newly implemented “bonus time” period.
If a batter hit at least two home runs of 425 feet or longer, an extra 30-second period of time was tacked on to the four-minute period each batter was allotted to hit as many home runs as possible.
One highlight of Frazier's opening round included a towering shot down the leftfield line that was caught in the stadium's upper reaches by former Reds slugger Sean Casey.
In the second round, Frazier bested the Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson 10–9 by hitting two home runs in the final 13 seconds of the round. As his final ball crossed the fence as time expired, fireworks shot off inside the stadium and Frazier was greeted with a standing ovation.
But the real fireworks came in the third and final round, in which Frazier was pitted against Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Joc Pederson, who hit the longest home run (487 feet) of the entire competition earlier in the evening. Pederson amassed 14 home runs in his final round, setting the stage for one final Frazier rally.
After starting the round off slowly, Frazier hit five home runs in a row at a torrid pace. After another 30-second stretch of near-misses, Frazier clocked six more home runs in a one-minute span, putting him at 11 with one minute left in the round.
He would tie Pederson with 14 home runs and just miss a go-ahead 15th home run as time expired.
But then, there was bonus time. And with his first swing, Frazier did this:
Frazier joins former Chicago Cub Ryne Sandberg as the only other player to win the derby in the park where his team plays.