Oakland Athletics’ outfielder Yoenis Cespedes defended his Home Run Derby title Monday night (July 14) in Minneapolis to become the first repeat winner of the All-Star skills contest in 15 years.
The 28-year-old beat Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier 9-1 in the final round, smashing 28 homers over the wall, including a 452-foot blast to the third deck above left field that officially measured as the longest shot of the night.
“I knew he wasn’t going to win because his mentality was to take the ball out of the stadium, and I told him that is not the way you win this competition,” Cespedes said through an interpreter. “I’m somebody who’s very conscious of the power that I have. So, I don’t need to put more of a swing or more of an effort in order to hit a home run. I just have to look for a good pitch and put a good swing on it, and it usually takes care of it.”
At last year’s contest, he went for 32 homers. The last player to win back-to-back Home Run Derbys was Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 and 1999.