CHICAGO -- The Home Run Derby during All-Star Game presented by MasterCard festivities in San Diego still sits two months removed, but White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier would be lying if he didn't admit to already thinking about the event."Every day of the week," a smiling Frazier told MLB.com
CHICAGO -- The Home Run Derby during All-Star Game presented by MasterCard festivities in San Diego still sits two months removed, but White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier would be lying if he didn't admit to already thinking about the event.
"Every day of the week," a smiling Frazier told MLB.com on Thursday.
Well, maybe not every day of the week, not with the White Sox looking like a postseason team through the first seven weeks of the season. And Frazier isn't thinking so much about defending his title, which he won in dramatic fashion representing the Reds in front of the Cincinnati home crowd after finishing second to Yoenis Cespedes the previous year.
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Frazier simply loves the thrill of this particular competition.
"I was one of those guys, if I wasn't playing baseball, we'd be down the street at the high school playing Yankee/Pirate," Frazier said. "You take half the field and you can't hit it over there. Other people have a different name. We called it Yankee/Pirate, don't ask me why.
"You try to hit laser beams. I've been doing it my whole life. Little League, we had a home run derby. High school, I came in second. I think it was a metal bat, it was 25-24. He went last so that's why he beat me. I have a high school coach who busts my chops to this day. Minor Leagues, I came in second and then first time in the Major Leagues, I came in second again. Then, I got my opportunity and won it. I love that stuff, man."
Frazier is hoping to get back to the All-Star Game, but the American League home run leader has some tough competition at the hot corner in Baltimore's Manny Machado and Toronto's Josh Donaldson, the defending AL MVP who led all players in votes last year.
Although Frazier put on a show at the Derby in his home park in Cincinnati, he admitted to feeling "absolutely drained" in the second half of the '15 season. Frazier won't blame the Home Run Derby for said fatigue, but admits this year's decision will be a collective one with the White Sox organization because of the team's early success.
"It's my decision, but it's the organization's decision as well," said Frazier, whose brother, Charlie, pitched to him and his brother, Jeff, served as his hype man. "I would love to do it again, but it will probably be a decision between the whole collective group to see where we are at. If I know where I think we'll be, this decision will be pretty easy for me."
"If in fact he's invited, which I assume he would be to defend his title, we'd have a conversation with Todd about what his preferences are, what ours are, how he feels last year affected him, how he feels physically and whether he's better served taking time off or feels like he should go defend his crown," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "We are still a month away from that conversation."
There were two suggestions Frazier has to take the exciting competition to another level. Make sure some player from the host team takes part and try to keep the competitors from knowing how many homers the previous hitter produced.
"But it worked out really well last year," Frazier said. "It was a lot of fun. We've brought it back a little bit in a good way."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.