The Reds are having a forgettable 2016 season, but one of the bright spots has a chance to replicate what was easily the high point of the 2015 campaign.
That would be Adam Duvall, whose breakout season has landed him a spot in the field for the 2016 Home Run Derby set for next week in San Diego.
Monday at Petco Park, he will have a chance to give the Reds back-to-back derby winners, following Todd Frazier’s stirring victory in front of the home crowd at Great American Ball Park last season.
Frazier will be there, too, trying to defend his crown, but he will be wearing a White Sox cap after being traded to Chicago’s AL franchise in the offseason. He could waiting for Duvall in the second round if Duvall can get by Wil Myers of the Padres in the opening round. Frazier will begin his title defense against Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies.
With Frazier having ended the Reds’ 25-year derby winner drought, Duvall will try to become the fourth representative from Cincinnati to claim the top spot.
Dave Parker won the first derby when he topped a field that included National Leaguers Dale Murphy, Steve Garvey, Ryne Sandberg and Jack Clark. Jim Rice, Eddie Murray, Carlton Fisk, Tom Brunansky and Cal Ripken Jr. represented the American League at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Four years later in Anaheim, Eric Davis tied Ruben Sierra of Texas for the derby title.
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Paul O’Neill led the National League in homers during the 1991 derby but saw Ripken win the event for the American League in Toronto.
In 2000, Ken Griffey Jr. went to Turner Field in Atlanta as the reigning champion but lost to Sammy Sosa of the Cubs in the final. Griffey won the previous year at Fenway Park when he was still a Seattle Mariner.
His second-place finish was the last near miss for a Red until 2014 when Frazier lost to reigning champion Yoenis Cespedes in the final at Target Field in Minneapolis.
All-time Reds participants in the MLB Home Run Derby (winners in bold):
Dave Parker, 1985 and ‘86
Eric Davis, 1989
Chris Sabo, 1991
Paul O’Neill, 1991
Ron Gant, 1995
Reggie Sanders, 1995
Ken Griffey Jr., 2000
Todd Frazier, 2014, ’15
Adam Duvall, 2016
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