Home Run Derby Live Blog: Yoenis Cespedes Repeats As Champion

Yoenis CespedesFinal, Yoenis Cespedes wins: Ken Griffey Jr., you have company.

Todd Frazier hit just one home run in the final round. Yoenis Cespedes is the winner, making him the first Home Run Derby repeat champion since Griffey won back-to-back competitions in 1998 and 1999.

Cespedes, who also put on a clinic last year, hit 28 home runs — 29, if you count his swing-off homer — over the course of the three rounds. His longest was 452 feet.

Overall, it was a rather underwhelming Home Run Derby. Yasiel Puig failed to hit a single dinger and Giancarlo Stanton posted a goose egg in Round 3 after earning a bye with an impressive first round.

Cespedes certainly has a knack for this thing, and it’s clear he enjoys participating. Perhaps next year will mark Major League Baseball’s first ever three-peat champion.

Finals — Yoenis Cespedes (9): Todd Frazier opted to have Yoenis Cespedes go first in the finals, figuring his opponent might have been tired after just swinging.

Cespedes didn’t look tired.

Cespedes struck nine home runs, with several of them landing in the upper deck at Target Field.

Cespedes underperformed in the first round, hitting just three home runs and needing a swing-off to defeat A’s teammate Josh Donaldson. He has been locked in ever since, and he’ll repeat as champion unless Frazier is able to somehow produce his best round yet.

Frazier has hit nine home runs total — 10, if you count his swing-off homer — over the first three rounds.

Round 3 — Jose Bautista (4): It’ll be Yoenis Cespedes versus Todd Frazier in the finals.

Jose Bautista started to heat up at one point in Round 3, but the long layoff proved detrimental. Bautista hit just four homers, enabling Cespedes to advance to the finals.

Cespedes is looking to become the first repeat champion since Ken Griffey Jr. won back-to-back Home Run Derbies in 1998 and 1999.

Round 3 — Yoenis Cespedes (7): Jose Bautista will need to earn it.

Yoenis Cespedes hit seven homers in Round 3, meaning Bautista, by no means, will be able to coast.

The amazing thing about Cespedes is how high some of his home runs have been hit. He has hit a few majestic blasts.

Cespedes hit one home run to right-center field in Round 3. He nearly had a second one in that area, but it plunked off the wall.

Bautista will need to quickly shake off any rust. He’s been staying loose in the cage, but Bautista hasn’t stepped up to the launch pad in one hour, 54 minutes.

Round 3 — Giancarlo Stanton (0): I spoke too soon (again).

Giancarlo Stanton was blanked in Round 3, meaning Todd Frazier’s one home run is enough to sneak the Reds third baseman in the back door.

Frazier, who was the first hitter of the night, looked like an early elimination after starting the Derby with two home runs. He continues to have a horse shoe located somewhere, though, and he’ll now face the winner of the Jose Bautista-Yoenis Cespedes showdown.

Round 3 — Todd Frazier (1): Might as well put Giancaro Stanton in the finals.

Todd Frazier hit just one home run in what continues to be an underwhelming Home Run Derby.

Save us, Giancarlo.

Round 2 — Adam Jones (3): Adam Jones faced a tall task in Round 2 after Yoenis Cespedes blasted nine homers. Jones never really stood a chance.

Jones struck just three homers en route to a Round 2 defeat. Cespedes will face Jose Bautista in the American League finals.

Todd Frazier, who has squeaked by, will start up Round 3. Squeaking by probably won’t get it done this time, though, as Giancarlo Stanton waits on-deck.

Round 2 — Yoenis Cespedes (9): Yoenis Cespedes put himself into a good position with nine home runs in Round 2.

Cespedes’ homers came in a variety of ways. However, several of them were skyscrapers that landed just beyond the fence.

Cespedes’ ninth and final home run didn’t look like it was to leave the yard. It dropped just beyond the wall and ended up bouncing back onto the field, though, and Adam Jones now will need a double-digit performance to overtake the A’s outfielder.

Meanwhile, Joey Bats awaits.

Round 2 — Troy Tulowitzki (2): Todd Frazier is moving on.

Troy Tulowitzki only mustered up two home runs in the second round after Todd Frazier kicked off the head-to-head matchup with a six spot.

Frazier will face Giancarlo Stanton in the National League final. Stanton hit six homers in Round 1, but again, home runs don’t carry over from round to round.

This Home Run Derby continues to lack flair, but Stanton and Jose Bautista should provide entertainment value.

Round 2 — Todd Frazier (6): Todd Frazier set the bar fairly high with a six-homer performance in Round 2.

Frazier really heated up after getting to four outs. He only had one home run before that point but ended up walking away with a very respectable number.

Troy Tulowitzki, who hit four homers in Round 1, now steps up.

American League swing-off: Yoenis Cespedes swung his way into the second round.

Cespedes hit three homers on three swings to cap off Round 1.

Cespedes, Jose Bautista and Adam Jones are advancing in the American League. Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Frazier are moving on in the National League.

Bautista and Stanton have earned byes by virtue of their league-leading performances. Cespedes will face Jones and Tulowitzki will face Frazier with two spots in the semifinals up for grabs.

National League swing-off: Todd Frazier is advancing to Round 2.

Frazier hit one home run. Justin Morneau came up empty, ending his triumphant return to Minnesota.

It’s still pretty cool to see the amount of love thrown Morneau’s way at Target Field, though.

Right, Jon?

Round 1 — Yoenis Cespedes: We’ll have a pair of swing-offs to determine the final two sluggers to reach Round 2.

Yoenis Cespedes hit just three homers, tying him with Oakland Athletics teammate Josh Donaldson.

Todd Frazier and Justin Morneau will participate in a National League swing-off, as each hit two homers.

Each player gets three swings as part of the swing-off.

Round 1 — Justin Morneau: Remember when I said about an hour ago that Todd Frazier’s two home runs definitely wouldn’t be enough to land him in the second round? Well, I lied.

Frazier still has an opportunity to sneak in because Justin Morneau hit just two homers in Round 1.

Morneau, the Derby’s only left-handed batter, jacked two shots to right field. He, of course, won the Home Run Derby in 2008.

Morneau, who spent parts of 11 seasons with the Twins, received a nice ovation from the Minnesota crowd.

Round 1 — Josh Donaldson: Josh Donaldson gave himself a chance to make the second round by launching two homers with six outs.

Donaldson finished with three homers total, placing him behind Jose Bautista (10) and Adam Jones (four) on the American League side of the bracket.

Donaldson’s two blasts with six outs means a $20,000 donation, so he’s quite the humanitarian, too.

Round 1 — Giancarlo Stanton: As expected, Giancarlo Stanton hit some moon shots.

Stanton crushed six home runs, including one that nearly left Target Field and another one into the seats located above the hitter’s backdrop in center field.

Stanton is at his best when he’s using the middle of the field and that approach infiltrated his first-round performance, as he hit two homers to dead-center.

One towering home run to left field would have landed perfectly atop the Green Monster. Just tossing that out there.

Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond pitched to Stanton.

Round 1 — Adam Jones: Adam Jones matched Troy Tulowitzki with four home runs.

Jones averaged 386 feet with his blasts, the longest of which was 426 feet.

To be brutally honest, this Home Run Derby has been awful so far. Fortunately, the favorite, Giancarlo Stanton, and last year’s champ, Yoenis Cespedes, have yet to take their cuts.

Round 1 — Yasiel Puig: Yasiel Puig laid an egg — a great, big goose egg.

Puig, who I embarrassingly predicted to win this thing, didn’t hit a single home run. It looked like Puig had some nerves, as he even checked his swing on one pitch.

Robinson Cano’s father, who we know can serve up home runs, pitched to Puig. It didn’t go well.

Round 1 — Jose Bautista: Jose Bautista put on the first show of the evening.

Joey Bats slugged 10 homers to become the leader. He peppered the left field seats, with his longest home run traveling 428 feet.

Bautista really is the epitome of a slugger, so it’s not shocking to see him enjoy success in this type of competition.

I’m not sure why, but Bautista also stopped at six outs. Strange.

Round 1 — Troy Tulowitzki: The National League’s captain is the new leader. After back-to-back two-homer performances, Troy Tulowitzki smacked four dingers to jump in front.

One of Tulowitzki’s home runs came with six outs. Each home run hit with six outs — the FlexBall — will result in $10,000 going to charity.

Tulo’s fourth homer was right down the left field line.

9:17 p.m.: There’s a rainbow over Target Field. It’s a little extra something to take aim at, I guess.

Round 1 — Brian Dozier: Brian Dozier, like Todd Frazier, totaled just two homers in Round 1.

Dozier, a member of the Twins, received a rousing ovation when he dug in at Target Field. The Minnesota faithful showered him with “Dozier! Dozier!” chants throughout the at-bat.

That’s pretty much where the fun stopped for Dozier, though. It was a pretty underwhelming round for the Twins second baseman.

The captains, Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Bautista, are up next.

Round 1 — Todd Frazier: Todd Frazier jacked just two home runs in Round 1. In other words, he’s all but eliminated.

Frazier didn’t connect on his first home run until there were four outs. He then launched one to the power alley in left-center field.

Frazier’s brother pitched to him, so there might be some extra bickering at the next family cookout.

Up next, the hometown guy, Brian Dozier.

9:04 p.m.: Todd Frazier is batting leadoff. Here we go.

8:56 p.m.: The skies have brightened and we’re now minutes away from starting.

The participants are being introduced by Chris Berman.

8:34 p.m.: The Home Run Derby still hasn’t gotten off the ground in Minnesota.

It sounds like things should start up soon, although some ominous clouds continue to hover over Target Field.

For now, we remain in a holding pattern. But don’t stray too far.

8:04 p.m.: Well, this is something.

The Home Run Derby has been delayed because of rain. It’s now expected to kick off around 8:30 p.m.

7:43 p.m.: It’s been raining at Target Field. My guess is that won’t impact the competition too much, although it might actually help in cooling down the hitters.

Either way, you’re bound to see players bring Gatorade bottles and towels to the sluggers in the middle of at-bats. It’s just a matter of how many times you’ll see such a sight.

7:40 p.m.: Everyone loves predictions, right?

OK, maybe you don’t. Either way, I’m going to share mine, as I’ve long considered myself a Nostradamus of sorts.

If you’d like, you can view the bracket right here. It’ll be interesting to see how this format works out, but my initial reaction is that the change to seven outs — rather than 10 — will play a factor. After all, some guys take longer to heat up.

Expect Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Bautista and Brian Dozier to advance on the American League side of the bracket. Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig and Todd Frazier will advance on the National League side.

My guess is Bautista and Stanton mash the most in their respective leagues in Round 1, resulting in byes for the two sluggers. Cespedes will defeat Dozier and Puig will take down Frazier in Round 2 action.

Cespedes is the defending champion for a reason. He’ll defeat Bautista and advance to the finals, where he’ll meet a fellow Cuban in Puig. Puig will emerge victorious.

Take that to the bank, folks.

7:20 p.m.: Yoenis Cespedes enters this year’s long ball competition as the defending champion. However, Giancarlo Stanton is the favorite, according to Bovada.

Stanton’s odds to win the Home Run Derby are 3-to-1. Cespedes’ are 19-to-4, which are the same odds given to Jose Bautista.

The biggest long shot to win is the hometown guy, Brian Dozier, who was given 16-to-1 odds.

Below is a full list of odds, according to Bovada (as of 7:15 p.m.).

Giancarlo Stanton: 3-to-1
Yasiel Puig: 9-to-2
Jose Bautista: 19-to-4
Yoenis Cespedes: 19-to-4
Troy Tulowitzki: 9-to-1
Justin Morneau: 10-to-1
Adam Jones: 12-to-1
Josh Donaldson: 12-to-1
Todd Frazier: 12-to-1
Brian Dozier: 16-to-1

5:15 p.m. ET: The Major League Baseball All-Star break offers many players an opportunity to rest and gear up for an intense second half of the season. For others, it represents a good time to show off.

That’s exactly what 10 sluggers will be doing Monday night at Target Field in Minnesota, as Yoenis Cespedes defends his crown against an impressive field in the 2014 MLB Home Run Derby. This year’s competition will even feature a new bracket-style format.

Under the new rules, there are seven outs per round. Whoever hits the most home runs from the American League and National League in Round 1 will receive a bye. Those with the second- and third-highest totals from each league will square off for the right to face the leader, with the Derby champion ultimately being the winner of a matchup between the AL finalist and the NL finalist.

It’s worth noting that home runs do not carry over round to round. Hitters finishing fourth and fifth in their respective leagues in Round 1 are eliminated, while the other six move on in the hopes of outhomering the opposition.

The Home Run Derby is scheduled to get underway at 8 p.m. ET. NESN.com will have you covered.

This year’s participants are below.

American League
Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays, captain
Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics
Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics
Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles

National League
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies, captain
Justin Morneau, Colorado Rockies
Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins

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