MINNEAPOLIS — Yoenis Cespedes knew how to pace himself in this rain-delayed Home Run Derby, drawn out further by a new format. The Oakland Athletics outfielder simply trusted his own strength.
Cespedes became the first repeat winner of the All-Star skills contest in 15 years, powering his way past Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier 9-1 in the final round Monday night.
Ken Griffey Jr. took the title in 1998 and 1999.
With a serious, determined look on his face the whole time, Cespedes finished with 28 homers. That was four fewer than last year, when he beat Washington’s Bryce Harper 9-8 in the final round.
Cespedes saved his best for last, a 452-foot blast to the third deck above left field that officially measured as the longest shot of the night. A’s third-base coach Mike Gallego again pitched to Cespedes, who went deep 32 times in last year’s derby at Citi Field in New York.